five senses from my world: tameka jenean norris, artist

Five senses from interdisciplinary artist Tameka Jenean Norris' world. 

With herself and surrounding communities as subjects, interdisciplinary artist and Yale School of Art graduate Tameka Jenean Norris' practice explores themes surrounding identity, with critiques on cultural issues in regards to gender, ethnicity, the LGBTQI communities and social class. Rap and hip hop culture are rooted within Tameka’s aesthetic; in exploring and editing art and popular culture to answer questions proposed within her practice, she aims to challenge and protest against dominant and monocultural ideologies. Fuelled by her own experiences and memories, Tameka uses performance, painting, video, installation, photography and music to explore the multi-faceted subject of identity, applying each with her knowledge of the ever unfolding understanding of the self.

Tameka's forthcoming exhibition Cut From The Same Cloth will be on view at Ronchini Gallery in London from November 25th. 

1

My earliest memory of art is listening to my mom spin and introduce records as a child in the radio station where she was a radio personality/ DJ where her air name was ‘The Jazzy Lady’.

Sleeping overnight at my mom’s job at the radio station offered me a platform to perform music I really loved at that time such as Prince and Sade. Many nights I snuck off to the unoccupied DJ booth and sang my heart out to each song my mom played. I would basically perform a concert to myself and my invisible audience. 

2

Looking at a $0 amount owed on my medical/dental insurance bill is a view that takes my breath away every time.

Often artists are left to their own devices if they are not affiliated with an institution full-time or committed to a long term appointment. These jobs are highly competitive and could one day be obsolete. Everyone should have access to fair and inexpensive health care but not everyone does. 

3

I have moved around quite a bit in my life.

Just in the last four years, I've lived in Gulfport, New Orleans, Los Angeles, New Haven, Iowa City and Berlin. All of these places are really different and sometimes the hustle is too intense that I don't even get to appreciate where I am. My body is read differently in each place as well - that can be tough!

4

Old folks and babies resonate with me the most. 

They are the most honest and they exist in the most extreme moment of their lives. Often they are too young or too old to have a filter and I really appreciate that. 

5

I love waking up to a bird chirping alarm that I have on my phone. 

Depending on the season, I often can't distinguish the real birds outside to that of the alarm. I lay long enough to try to sift the two out. It makes me happy when I can do that and it's always a blessing to wake up another day.

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