ARTIST STATEMENT:Jewels from the Hinterland is a photo-based series that investigates questions of place, belonging, and perceived cultural identity within the African Diaspora. I have made, and continue to make, portraits of creative individuals in and around New York City, where figures anchor overgrown fields with abstract forms and vibrant colors. Those who choose to participate are creatives who find comfort in verdant environments. As nature grows around the individuals, so does the city landscape, like a continuous grid. In these photographs are city dwellers who identify with natural green spaces, regions where Black and Brown urbanites are not expected to inhabit. Our hinterlands.