Tanekeya Word - Claire Oliver Gallery

Tanekeya Word

As an artist, I work within series and studies as it allows me to extensively explore techniques and questions within my body of work. During the quadruple pandemic (2020):  COVID-19, the uproar of institutionalized racism and state sanctioned violence on Black and Brown bodies, a declining economy, and natural disasters, I began a Black material culture study with combs. The comb has symbolized beauty, care and has diagnosed many Black women as tender headed or heavy handed.  I needed a praxis of care to live in during intense turmoil and the grief of losing a daughter in utero, Avery Rose, during the pandemic. I decided upon relief print lino-cut. Within my thought process, I believed that the act of carving the linoleum block would link my hand’s rememory to that of ancestors possibly carving a woodblock for traditional African combs. African combs are given in celebration and to mark an end, this duality of giving in times of joy or grief is an exploration of the continuity in caring for ourselves and others through the ebb and flow of life.