It has always been a dream of mine to travel out of the country. I felt it became imperative to my photography journey because of work from photographers such as Carrie Mae Weems and Gordon Parks . On Thursday, June 13, 2019 I got the chance to feature my work in Sydney, Australia!! This opportunity was one I will never forget. I met so many amazing people and talented artists. I traveled to Sydney as an incentive to my RAW: DALLAS showcase. I applied to over 15 cities in and out of the U.S. and three months later I was contacted with openings in their showcase.
Fast forwarding to just less than a week ago, the day of the showcase arrived and I did not know what to expect. Though I had been in contact with numerous people from the RAW: Australia team, I was nervous about how I would be received. I quickly learned that not many of the artists there were there locally. Some were from Melbourne, Australia and other surrounding cities hours away. While it was 6:30 p.m. there in Australia it was 2am back home in Louisiana and Dallas where most of my support team was sleeping and had sent their Congratulations a few hours before hand. The doors opened and the place began to fill with laughter and familiarity. Many guest could not believe I had traveled so far, but were so welcoming with open arms. So much great advice, questions, and compliments were given about my work I was overjoyed! One segment of the show was having to take a piece of art work on stage and answer a few questions about it. I personally hate being put on the spot, but learning it comes with the territory. I got through my interview with ease.
As the hard part came to an end and I had made so many great connections there was one guest that stood out. He approached my table and said, “ I don’t understand any of your work, none of them are smiling, explain to me what they mean?” I was surprised, yet anxious to explain because it was the first time all night someone had asked me the message behind my work. As I explained my portraits it was my conversation about my series “Melanin” that had us talking for over an hour. We talked about politics, passion for art, and more ways I could get my message out. It was in that moment that I realized this was my purpose. My gift was being able to express myself and emotions while gaining perspective as well as give others the opportunity to do the same. This was definitely a motivating and eye opening experience. Thank you so much to all the guest that came by my table and all the great artists that I had the pleasure of meeting.
Feel free to click on the artist below names to check out their work!!