Queens’ Stories was born of a simple yet powerful desire to honor women and their stories. By unapologetically and fearlessly sharing, we help build bridges of hope, healing, understanding and love. We impact our world by the retelling of our stories and journeys, generation to generation.
I began Queens’ Stories November of 2017 and completed the series October of 2018. The one-night only show took place in Nashville.
I asked several women to collaborate with me. The directives I gave each collaborator were two-fold. I asked each woman to contribute a story from her life—one she felt an urgency to examine, confront and ultimately share. Any story was welcome—stories of success, transition, struggle, transformation, empowerment and more. They could be shared in the form of a poem, a song, a few sentences, an essay or something else. Secondly, I asked each woman for a body fluid of her choice, which I then incorporated into the paintings.
For these deeply personal stories, my role in the process was to be a witness as well as a vessel, as I strived to make them tangible. What emerged as a common thread throughout these very specific and unique journeys is the theme of growth, strength and empowerment through journey and struggle.
We added another layer of collaboration and partnered with Nashville’s non-profit, Southern Word. They gathered several of their top female youth poets to reinterpret the stories and, standing next to each painting, performed them via spoken word. *Due to being under age, the youth poets aren’t featured in this photo gallery.
It was a powerful night of bearing witness. The gallery was full of laughter, tears, love. It was intense. It’s what making art is all about for me: folks being moved in a very profound and real way; leaving the show more whole than when they arrived.