Artist Statement

My artwork includes poetry, collage, mixed-media, ink drawings and performance art.

I'm a lover of learning, a thinker and one who imagines. I study world cultures, read great science fiction, literature and myths.

Having engaged subjects as diverse as violence, ancestral connections, transformative justice, memory, history, sexual orientation, difference and spirituality in nature; my work is steeped in imagery. The approach I take is most often that of storyteller.

My poetry is rhytmic; heartbeats, visions and nightmares.

I am inspired by the people I encounter, everything that I see, feel - sense. My influences include Audre Lorde, Zora Neale Hurston, Mary Oliver, June Jordan, bell hooks, Adrienne Rich, Octavia Butler, Carol Christ, Matisse, feminist process philosophy, Catholicism, Kara Walker, Betye Saar, Black Renaissance, Surrealism and Abstract Expressionism.

My visual work explores memes; elements of culture that we pass on with a gentic-like fashion.

In my work I am exploring, observing and questioning human behavior and all the incorporeal stuff that propels us: ethos, intersectionality, bodies, theo/thealogy, fear and love. I am particularly interested in junctures of power, shame and the plight of women. The symbols and sacred objects of women play an important role in both my poetry and visual art. 

I'm a moon howler,

I believe in horizontal prayer

cross-training kindness

empathetic rhythms


hallelujah in candied yams.

© 2007 Vanita  Leatherwood