My name is Adeline and I am a multi-disciplinary artist. I know that might seem obvious but it has taken me some lengths to get here, to accept that my art will come out in many different ways and that even though I can’t visually express everything I feel or want to say, this is okay. I have many tools for expression but it took others recognizing my talents and a lot of deep personal work to free myself of the notion that art should be a finished, perfect piece. I’ll get into that more later. Words are what come out right now so I’ve been spending a lot of time writing and I’m trying to be more present with my sharing.
I have so much to say when it comes to talking about identity and of course this didn’t start with my trip to Brazil in February but it was an important pivotal moment for me. On this trip I made the intentional decision to explore the topic of “Queer black liberation” and it's taken me a minute to document it for a number of reasons: The first one being that there has been a lot to process between notes and drawings and photographs and videos and new connections and just, all of the magic. The second being that life has kept moving since I returned and I’ve been trying to stay present in each new experience. The third one, perhaps the biggest reason of all, is that the urgency to have everyone in my life understand me has lessened significantly since I’ve begun to understand myself and I realized that I am literally the designer of my own life.
Making art soothes me. There is nothing quite like the feeling of knowing I’ve organised my thoughts and feelings into words or images that make sense. I created something that didn’t exist before and I feel pride. Before it gets criticised or discussed or even complimented, I sit with it. It’s mine. Mine to get high off, mine to critique, mine to change, mine to enjoy. In these moments I don’t have to hold space for anyone else's feelings. I don’t know what others will think, feel, or not feel. My only real guide is that inner voice that asks “Is it truth?” When the answer is yes, I know this is my work at its purest form. This satisfaction, this raw power is the single greatest part of being an artist and if I could inject that feeling into my veins I would. But I don’t have to because it turns out IT COMES FROM WITHIN AND IT WAS HERE THE WHOLE TIME!
When I put something online it becomes something else and I’m pretty good at working myself into a tizzy over sharing work especially when I try and generate revenue so I can continue to create. But in truth, trying to master this formula is tricky. I want everything to connect. But I haven’t figured out the best ways to do this yet and I’m realising that striving for perfection is unhelpful. So I will share my musings with anyone who is open to receiving them because, well, inspiration is contagious and I have been inspired by so many people lately. If I can even spread a little bit of that around here is my offering.
I'm noticing how important it is to name your own identifiers and write your own labels. It is so important as the world will forever throw labels at you and try to put you into boxes. And at the same time, when we get to the root of humanity, labelling doesn’t matter at all and it’s the most unimportant. This sounds like a contradiction but one of the things I am coming to peace with is that life, and certainly my life is full of contradictions and that is never going to change. I can be black and white. I can be attracted to men and women and non binary people too. I can be African and Irish. I can be respectful of my heritage and upbringing still honour my sexuality. I can be a multidisciplinary artist and still have a job. I am both, I am all and I am fluid. And isn’t that the point? To exist, to create? Create art, create connection, create what we want.
I think I’m incorrect in titling this entry “Identity crisis”. But I left it there anyway because it's a testament to how far I have come. I feel charged and alive and ready to shine my light, for as long as it keeps burning and this feels really powerful. I actually used the sentence “I’m so overwhelmed by my own potential” a few weeks ago and that’s a pretty great place to be in my opinion. Life has shifted so much in the past year and this is honestly one of the most exciting times of my life. I’m full of gratitude for the direction it's going. In short, my identity doesn’t feel like a crisis anymore. If you made it this far, stay posted for more words about my Brazil trip and life in general Thanks for being here.