Lark Allen III
My motivation for creating African-inspired artifacts is fueled from an African-American upbringing in rural and urban America. Utilizing found materials from nature, as well as discarded objects from my immediate environment, mixed-media provides an outlet for active investigation of my own existence within the African Diaspora. In our travels, we must adapt to constantly changing environments in effort to promote individual and spiritual development. Therefore, I embrace an intuitive approach to making art. My backgrounds in painting, sculpture, and print media directly play a part in the combining and layering of repurposed materials prevalent in my work. The artifacts that I create are often ambiguous in nature, and are intended to convey a sense of unresolve within various modern contexts. Utilization of the mask and other African-inspired artifacts serves as a vessel for comprehending environmental changes that affect my existence. Meaning and purpose of environmental installations and artifacts, such as ceremonial masks used for ritualistic performances in many West African societies, exemplify my work. Though not necessarily intended for performance, many of these creations possess the ability to be worn. By possessing the ability to be adorned, observers can potentially connect with "the life force" of objects, materials, and processes that constantly affect my spiritual journey in America.