Crowns is an ongoing project representing both historic and contemporary investigations on the various ways men and women style head wraps throughout the African diaspora.
The headdress signifies a complex history of representation: from using head wraps as ritual and rites of passage, as symbols of rebellion, to coding messages through during enslavement, and its purely aesthetic styling as representations of beauty, pride and culture. Each shape and fold carries a unique and complex story.
I attempt to visually reflect these complexities in a series of drawings that celebrate the stories carried within each fold and crease.
Current prints available for purchase
The muse behind "Crown 1" reflects on her experience.
Several years ago Michael Wilson took a picture of my sideview because he liked my head wrap, we were at the National Council of Black Studies...He said that he was going to draw it, but I didn't hear much about it later. I remember being uncomfortable, thinking what's so special when he took my still photo...Well, here it is ya'll, he has finished it!...It displays a silent strength...a resilience...a somberness and a stoic pride...it's a different image from my usual cheery smiles...it illustrates a struggle for growth and patience in the midst of it all - something all black women can understand...He named it "Crown"...and I'll accept that ornament with joy...I can't wait to get my copy, and you should get yours too! Thanks Michael Wilson for fulfilling your promise..., while showing me another side of my beauty and strength...