My primary medium is text. I use typewriters, stamps, and letterpress to create images of women with words. These portraits visualize the historical context of women’s lives and suggest a sense of social heritage. I often embed this heritage into the work with words by writers, activists, and feminists like Ida B. Wells, Sojourner Truth, and Sarah Grimké. By interlocking historic words with images of contemporary women, I portray the substance of women’s lives and create connections through time. I weave together phrases from poems, essays, or historical documents that have relevance to the sitter.
As I layer words to create a portrait, my focus shifts to the visual character of the individual letterforms. Words dissolve into visual marks that echo their original literary content. Remnants and hints of my source materials combine to create new forms that exist at the intersection of visual art, poetry, and typography.
The titles of these portraits indicate the name of the sitter along with the title and date of the text. I typed the featured works on Rives heavyweight paper using a manual typewriter.