My current body of work has been influenced by the colorful regalia worn by indigenous tribes such as the Maasai of Tanzania, the Samburu from Kenya, and the Huli of Papua New Guinea. I am particularly inspired by how these peoples use simple processes and materials that are inexpensive, accessible, and portable to create wearable artwork that is saturated in tradition and reflective of their environment. The jewelry of these groups have a language all their own, and are at times transformative pieces, signifiers of a cultural language passed on for generations.
In an effort to adapt these methodologies to my creative practice, I’ve transposed the customary elements of indigenous regalia to elements reflective of my sphere of existence –featuring materials that have been relocated from their original intention to the realm of adornment. I trade natural materials for synthetic ones, replacing horsehair and grasses with neon fishing line, substituting highly valued trade beads with reflective stripping. These amalgamations reflect their aesthetic inspiration as well as the saturated colors of billboards, graffiti, and neon signage of my urban environment.