You know how much I jump for colour, but wearing black and gold was appropriate for the Black Lives Matter Toronto's Love is the Cure fundraiser & show. It was organized on behalf of the Watah Theatre, to secure a space that has nurtured the artistry of hundreds of artists across race, gender, class and orientation under the artistic direction of world renowned black genius D'bi Young Anitafrika.
When I arrived and 👁saw so many people wearing both black and gold, I knew that I had gotten the memo instinctively. They were selling tees that said "We Will Win" printed in gold on majestic black. Gorgeous, I tell you. Needed, unmistakeably. And the community showed out! I'm going to write a post on the show because there are so many good & powerful things that transpired that night. This photo was pre-live paint.
I've never painted two completely different visuals in one night before. 🖌I thought I'd try this at #BLMTO's showcase. The top is a black angel, representative of the countless women who have had their lives cut short by excessive force. Unfortunately, at the hands of those meant to serve and protect. The bottom image is more of an introspective piece, with the ripples of 💧water emanating from a central eye. That piece is about the drop in the ocean theory - silent souls who see what's happening but they see themselves as one of many, not responsible for change. But their inaction is still an action. The effects permeate outwards.
They chanted in unison. They made choruses, it sounded so good it could be a song hook, they said "Black Lives, they matter HERE". That got to me. BLMTO ✊🏾#BlackLivesMatter Toronto is doing real work, re-centering our narrative in this cold city. There are so many spaces where we don't feel safe. We don't feel like we can present ourselves as we are. Look, this event really brought thoughts about representation back to the forefront for me. That's the reason why I'm so passionate about creating, but in my focus on understanding the business behind the art, my actual artwork has been lacking. What am I doing for the girls and boys who need to see a visual of themselves succeeding in a system that was designed NOT to work for them? ☝🏾️This is a 💡reminder to self and to you my friend. That you and I have creative power. We must wield it. Do you matter ? Show us. BLACK LIVES MATTER HERE yes, right where you are. Right now and forever.