Stephanie J Woods
charlotte, north carolina
2019, Burlap dyed with sweet tea, satin bonnets, upholstered satin prints, vinyl, and hand-made
Courtesy of the artist
Lavender Notes features portraits of a figure masked by satin bonnets. Satin bonnets are commonly worn at night to protect natural hair, but here, the purpose is to shield the figure. To create Lavender Notes, hand-made bonnets were embellished with written reflections generated from a community-engaged project titled “Relax. Relate. Release,” and shipped to Black Americans. Those who received the bonnets were asked to write a reflection that was, in turn, shared on another bonnet and shipped to someone else.
Each bonnet displays different reflections such as: “Fly, stand, overcome,” and “I am beautifully bold.” The words presented are inspirational, yet they feel like a burden or an unrealistic expectation. Scrambled on the frames are also words; the illegibility of the words raises questions about disclosure. How much of ourselves should remain guarded? And how much released?