Artist Statement


Activism has been embedded within me since the day my mother guided me to understand the origin of my culture and role within this society.  Through the years I have sought out ways to find my artistic voice through images of dark skinned portraiture, and non-figurative (shape, line, color) movement combined with photos, words, fabrics, etc. Having acquired more theoretical pedagogy I am now often thinking how to maneuver around institutional boundaries that wish to silence my creative voice.

Events that have left me in a box of feeling marginalized by discriminatory acts against my skin-tone, gender, and sexual orientation have propelled my most recent artworks to not only challenge unconscious bias, but allow the community in which it serves to participate and create change. Through installation, collage, and assemblage art I have created artwork that confronts the institution’s philosophies that operate with conscious biases and attempt to camouflage themselves under the notion of inclusion and diversity. The audience becomes comfortably immersed in these conflicting spaces and leave the space knowing that their silence is a hindrance towards conversations on equity.

I play with perception by inducing a sense of comfort that brings the audience to unexpectedly grapple with power and privilege. Now the audience sees a part of my lived experience and uses that didactic moment to advocate and challenge the ignorance of others.  It is always my hope that through participation people will have conversations that dissect the systems that cause of power, privilege and oppression and work to dismantle them.

Nikki Brooks