Garland Martin Taylor
_ I am in the process of experimenting with three-dimensional word forms inspired by the ritualistic nature of African power figures which embodied a willingness to engage in intensive labor. I use a wide range of materials, including Indiana bald cypress twigs, locks of kinky hair, baseball stitching, stainless steel, steel, tacks, and nail polish to intertwine past, present and future. The decision to use each material, texture, line, and color is made through intense introspection and careful consideration. My work in the studio often reflects my research interests as well. Today, when I experience feelings of insecurity or uncertainty, the lives of, and the work performed by my mentors, ancestors, and artists from the nineteenth century inspire me to give substance, not just to these emotions, but, to make objects that celebrate arduous labor, mixed media, race mixing, and the privilege to raise questions–all the while remaining firmly rooted to the diverse richness of American history and tradition.