For the majority of my life I have tried to make sense of my identity. I have been driven by my feelings of rootlessness being American born and Caribbean raised. Growing up in New York and navigating culture, visual signifiers of home, and familial memories. I find myself in a similar position as many who are products of displacement and the diaspora. Some of my earliest memories are with family in the Caribbean. With art-making I explore different mediums and by piecing together fragments of my family’s collective past, the weight of these memories instilled in me by family stories shift. There’s an impossible gathering of signifiers to trigger some sort of linked memory.
I keep everything in mind creating with a care that is able to be seen as an effect of the making.
My work consists of paintings, drawings, photographs, ornate objects, metal, wood, thrifted fabrics relating to home and my memories. I think it all initiates a way to talk with the past and larger structures that have had influence on that past like imperialism, slavery, migration, colonialism in the histories of the peoples of the diaspora. It’s like my own way of combining the ancestral, genealogical, archeological, and ethnographic research to sort of unearth my own consciousness to reach back and dig deep to the root, to access the people that came before me. All of my research has made me have to do a lot of work on myself to even deal with some of the generational trauma that finds its way through.
My making concerns class, access, connection and representing histories other than those that have usually been represented or are easier to understand. I handle items that carry significance to me as an access point or entryway for anyone to engage with the work. My Identity is so layered, so the way I combine objects and materials to understand it is the same way. I want to continue to challenge the fragments of our past we have to work with to heal, and establish a connection through memory and making.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Lisa DeAbreu is an American born Artist. She is from Elmont, New York. Her mother is from Jamaica and her Father is from Aruba. She completed her Bachelors in Fine Arts and an Art History and Education Minor at the University at Buffalo. She completed a Post Baccalaureate certificate at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is there as a first year MFA in Painting and Drawing.
© Lisa DeAbreu