I decided to use some of this blog space to introduce you to people that I think are awesome and creative. Using the Latinx slang, Dame Un Chin, which basically means “Gimme a Little,” I chose to ask just five questions, the same for every creative interviewed. Just to give you all a little info and motivate you to look them and their work up.
I am hoping to do one interview like this every month.
For the inaugural post, I decided to interview my godsister, Amanda Everich, (IG: @amandapoints), who uses spirit, senses, and emotion to create unique and one of kind visual art pieces that she calls “sensory maps.”
Why this art form?
As a Black artist from the Bronx, I feel like I am constantly creating worlds, exploring stories and looking for new ways to build with community. My main art practice is called “sensory maps”, which are exploratory, abstract maps based on lessons from people, places and senses. I’ve been developing this practice of “sensory maps” as a tool of decolonizing my awareness/experience in spaces and to archive people’s stories to empower personal revolution that can feed collective revolution. I think of people, places and senses as maps of resources, guidance and growth. I create these visual mappings to show examples of the worlds we inspire in those around us, archive this information so people can learn from each other’s experiences and create space to support people as the experts of their own journeys. Through gently following my curiosities, working with the land and using art to heal/connect as a teacher, this practice came to me by realizing my sensitivities could be a tool. Most, if not all, of the maps I grew up learning from were made by oppressive or problematic sources, I create these maps to reimagine what a map can be, to make maps about and for the people.
What has told you no and has failed in deterring you?
Wow, well, there are so many systems of oppression and hate in place to stop me but I can’t control those. So I thought of myself, my past selves that I had to outgrow to keep becoming more than these systems want me to become. I can’t change these entire systems but I can change how I move to take care of myself and how I build with community against them. Saying yes to exploring the world around me, the never-ending layers of healing myself, the expansion of asking questions, creating spaces of freedom and being in collaboration with community has been empowering for me to grow past self doubt.
What has told you yes and fostered growth in your work?
I think there is ancestral knowledge inside of us that can be accessed through practices of creation, play and being with the land. I have grown and changed so much through teaching (learning from) children, farming the land and giving myself permission to explore creative practices. My current virtual exhibition of maps, “I Am Because We Are” is honoring how we are all made up of the people, places, sensations and lessons from the communities around us. When I look back on my life, I can trace major shifts in my journey to specific people and places that contributed to my growth by connecting me to spirit, the land, myself and how to be in service to community such as @lavoyawoodstherapy, @cheapgarlic and @proyectoagroecologicocampesino
What are three things you wish you had known when first starting?
Fuck capitalism. You dont have to feel guilty for resting, healing and slowing down. They are a part of the creative process, of every process. These are access points of creation and feeling alive.
Build and collaborate with the people around you. Let creating, sharing resources and your curiosities connect you to other people. Lift each other up in your discoveries and creations.
Building new worlds of collective care and recovering ancestral knowledge is not going to be perfect, sometimes it’s gonna be messy as hell, but let it be human, exploratory, helpful, honest and intentional.
What’s coming up for you?
My virtual exhibition is out on my website now, my next art sale is coming up the week of October 18-24, this fall I’m so honored to be co-facilitating Activation Residency’s Respite As Resistance retreat and I’ve got a few other collaborations coming out that can be found on my instagram @amandapoints.