curated by Veronica Elizabeth Thomas
peasy /ˈpi:zi/ adjective
kinky hair resembling or reminiscent of peas or peasemeal that reside as the nape of the neck.
see: kitchen, nappy
PEASY considers the powerful ways in which art explores the various modes of Black women existing presently. Works center the perceived negatives of Blackness - skin color, kinky hair, heavy lips, and wide eyes- and presents these attributes as what they are and were always meant to be - beautiful.
GOING BACK TO MY ROOTS, 2020
digital photos: Nikon 750D
"Self portraits are harder to take when you don’t feel like you have anything to offer. These photos come from a season of self isolation during the pandemic. Staying home like everyone else gave me the time and space to reflect on how I view myself.
The self portraits show me sitting in front of a simple backdrop with leaves and sticks on the ground which give an illusion that I’m in a forest or a garden. The leaves and branches represent the connection to myself, which comes from going back to my roots and accepting who I am. Accepting my body, from stretch marks to cellulitis, the permanent dark circles and lines under my eyes, and my stubborn hair that has found beauty with cornrow braids.
To me, accepting myself, my body, and my hair, comes when I’ve deeply rooted myself with self-love. Acceptance doesn’t come from comparing myself with others, but comparing myself to my own lineage. It’s understanding where I come from and celebrating myself and my ancestors."
MAHOGANY, 2019 - 2020
"These pieces are a strong message to Black Women and an homage to our strength, our presence, our existence. Us. These poems literally speak on our bodies, our influence, our power. And this is what I want to remind young Black Women of everyday. That we are the blueprint and we forever will be the blueprint."
Get it and Come Back (ongoing series),
"My interest draws into the objects that help to ground our sense of self and perception of a community. I explore the relationship between object and body, encapsulating how it's activated by one's own history, gesture, and cultural ritual. Utilizing photographic techniques, I put my focus on my friends and family of the Caribbean Diaspora. I aim to assemble intimate realities constructed in exclusive spaces while creating work that parallels my own experience of the heritage of a distant home."
PRESERVATION GARDEN, 2020
THE RECKONING, 2020
"My artistry explores cultural agency through various healing vessels and archival documentation of multigenerational black narratives. I am rooted in Philadelphia's soulful rhythms. I create to come home to myself, to find new ways to fall in love with my bones, my blood, and my body because only I can honor the sacred stories that they hold. I create for my ancestors, those who have walked tireless journeys and parted the red sea for us to walk through with less weight on our spines. I am energized by their wildest dreams. Creating is a birthing process. My creations are my proof to the world that I have existed. It is my children and my children’s children’s inheritance. It is everything that is inside me begging to be born."
Box Braids, 2020
"...a celebration of Black hair and its artistic magic. The poem highlights the experience of getting a protective hairstyle, painting it as a powerful and intimate endeavor between Black women by zooming into the particulars: fingers, the braiding hair, the comb, the shea butter. The poem posits that our hair -- in all its forms -- allows us to stand in our beauty but also to take up space."
Count it all Joy (selections from series SapphC3-C4), 2020
"...a compilation of my own personal reclaiming of the inherent beauty that lies within my blackness. These works are proof of my journey of finding new ways to fall in love with my skin every day, there are both literary and visual submissions.
My artistry explores cultural agency through various healing vessels and archival documentation of multigenerational black narratives. I am rooted in Philadelphia's soulful rhythms. I create to come home to myself, to find new ways to fall in love with my bones, my blood, and my body because only I can honor the sacred stories that they hold. I create for my ancestors, those who have walked tireless journeys and parted the red sea for us to walk through with less weight on our spines. I am energized by their wildest dreams. Creating is a birthing process. My creations are my proof to the world that I have existed. It is my children and my children’s children’s inheritance. It is everything that is inside me begging to be born."
Can't Let the Summer Past, 2020
Acrylic on canvas, 49" x 54"
"In my work I highlight the idea of connecting past, present and future, something that attributes to everyone's journey. It is important to me to express my identity unapologetically in the work, to be able to see forms that transcend time and space and to celebrate my blackness. Being able to enter different dimensions in the work is special in the process of creating. In my work I express the different modes a Black Womxn possesses and what visual language I want to create to enhance that idea."
A Black Woman's Tears (series), 2018 - 2020
"As a young Black woman living in the United States, experiencing how the various systems and infrastructures of oppression, everything from education to employment, to interactions with individuals and personal relationships have contributed to the emotional blockage of Black women. Where we often keep a lot of our experiences and feelings of pain, anger, sadness, and frustrations within, where it continues to build up. Since Black women, are often described as strong and always holding it together, I wanted to explore what would happen if we unleash the emotional flood gates and release all that we are holding: happiness, fear, sadness, pain, frustration, regret, remorse, guilt, pint up aggression, softness, and joy? What would the effect be on ourselves and our environment? The circles are used to create texture and represent the different emotions, feelings and experiences that make up the Black woman."
Contrary to Popular Belief, 2020
"I consider myself to be a poet and a storyteller, using my work to document my becomings, experiences, and thoughts as a young woman. I strive for all my work to tell a story, everything I create stems from a real experience or feeling. Contrary to Popular Belief, discusses the implications of the strong Black woman trope. We as Black women are often perceived to tough and callus. Young Black girls are expected to grow up faster. Black and angry are so often seen as synonymous. In this, many forget the humanity that lies behind a rough exterior, that real people with real feelings exist behind the false perception of anger. "
A Self Portrait, 2020
Oil pastel on wood, 4' x 3'
Brown Neck, 2020
Oil pastel on paper, 18" x 12"
"I feel like I represent a category of people who want to be okay with who they are in the most positive light. I want to be seen as simply different with not having a positive or negative connotation, just being as an individual. Especially in the realm of visual arts there are standards and stereotypes that tend to be seen as negative or positive instead of just “is”. So being a voice that challenges that really matters to my art.
I strive to push my audience to go beyond their false beliefs and to see in another perspective. This also challenges me to break the mental walls I have."