Danielle Demetria East

Summer 2019

social practice, fibers, sculpture, installation

see her personal site

Danielle Demetria East, as a Black woman, explores artwork as a form of Black protest and spiritual healing. Through trials of resistance and generational pain, what must Black Women do but heal? Through her residency at Sunset Art Studios, she uses the space, facilities, and time to create mixed-media renderings of types of pain (i.e.: Post-Traumatic Slave Disorder, Black Angst, Colorism) and healing processes (i.e.: Hair Braiding, Self-Love, Writing) associated with Black women.

Her practice as a resident culminates in “Melanated Magic” is a solo exhibition of work by Danielle Demetria East. East explores the complexities of Black women through hair politics, traditional modes of healing, and the ideology of the Black Girl Magic movement. She is inspired by the works of Black women such as Toni Morrison, Beyte Saar, Black beauticians, and the need for a deeper understanding of renewal within the Black femme community. East uses a variety of culturally classed materials, found objects, and African American Vernacular Phrases as tools for processing generational pain.

East’s goal is for her work will is to spur deeper discussions of generational pain while conceptualizing traditional forms of healing expressed through contemporary Black art. In Malcolm X’s speech, Who Taught You to Hate Yourself?, he discusses that Black women as the most unprotected, disrespected, and neglected people in America. In contrast, Black women are the most likely to have a connection spiritually and/or religiously to a higher power and the most like to not receive proper care and resources.