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Verneda Lights
South Carolina

Artist Statement Submitted 2019

The artworks submitted are from my “Gullah Me Project," which consists mostly of self-portraits created in the aftermath of the deaths of both my nonagenarian parents. I was their caregiver.

I created the "Gullah Me Project," because (for me), art is therapy. Creating art helped me cope with multiple family losses and the stresses of caregiving. Art made it possible for me to see the answers to my questions, such as "Who am I?" and "How do I feel?" This is important, because caregiving demands often blurred the boundaries between family members and myself.

My native culture, Gullah, inspires my life-decisions and art. For example, due to African retentions, my culture values strong family units and family/ home-based elder care. These factors formed the foundation for my decision to become a caregiver. My culture also values artisanship and the practical application of art. Hence, my use of art for documentation, self-expression, and stress management.


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