When I first moved to California I began noticing ‘eyes’ on the trees, which sparked the beginning of my spiritual connection to trees. Nowadays, I visit my local parks ritualistically to meditate under the trees, hoping to receive some of their ancient wisdom. I’m super inspired by their sort of quiet liveliness, often unnoticed and disregarded in a Western society that only values “intelligent” beings (intelligence, of course, being defined by humans).
It reminds me of the ways in which Black + Indigenous women are erased and disregarded in Eurocentric societies around the world, both figuratively and literally. Partly inspired by the fact that there are more depictions of the female body in the art gallery world than there are actual women, as well as the violence happening against Indigenous and Black girls (#MMIW and sex-trafficking, to name a few), I craved an alternative narrative for my body and its’ place in this world. I wanted to depict the Black female body as being akin to the divine nature around me; specifically the spirits of the trees.