"I am an immigrant and my story is that of constant migration. At a young age, my family moved to East Africa, where I was raised. We were surrounded by a multicultural community that was international in flavor. I was German, Spanish, Kenyan, Ethiopian, and Ugandan all at once. I considered myself a citizen to all and at the same time to none.
My immigration to the States began with a visit to an old friend and a chance at love was the reason. It was a long shot and it was scary. I only had a tourist visa at the time and no idea if my friend would actually meet me at the airport. This is a painting of my arrival at LAX. This is me smiling from ear to ear, excited and happy to set foot in the United States of America. It's me in full color with all of my baggage - physical and cultural, vibrant in every way. The animals in this painting represent my heritage and also the other international travellers arriving here every day.
I had no idea this was just the beginning of a long journey involving the immigration process, which thousands of people successfully complete each year. My story ends happily as I applied for a green card and then became a permanent citizen after marrying that man who met me at the airport all those years ago."
"When you look at my art you will find glimpses into where life has taken me. I was raised in a multicultural expatriate community in East Africa and was exposed to a variety of influences. My inspiration ranges from the bright colours and patterns printed on Kenyan “Maridadi” fabrics to the repetitive shapes and rhythms found in nature. I am especially drawn to the ocean, having spent more time in the water than outside of it when I grew up.
I think repetition is soothing and an important element of composition. This past year during lockdown and uncertainty, I have been obsessed with wanting to express my love for life more than ever. My previously abstract pieces began to incorporate the figurative as part of my narrative. Memories of carefree days and a desperate need to express those became my focus. My palette is always bright and vivid. To me, color signifies life and is an expression of the beauty, happiness, and joy found in it. Lastly, it is a reflection of my family’s optimism, sense of adventure, and embrace of everything life has to offer."