“I find inspiration everywhere – from nature, to dreams, to the cultural environment of the African diaspora, and the politics of our history… perhaps this is why my creative output is eclectic”
– Orlonda Uffre
My origins incorporate Brooklyn, New York and the Caribbean Diaspora associated with it. Although very much an American, my mother’s Caribbean ways have forever permeated my sense of self, my thoughts and my art.
When I begin a painting, I first think about what I want to express for myself and than what it might mean to the outside world. I sometimes feel myself gravitating toward art for the critics’ sake as opposed to another or higher purpose. Although it seems as if contemporary and modernist conventions are rules that have shaped the language of art, I don’t want to have to shock, titillate or confuse people to be considered relevant or interesting in this ongoing art dialogue. I believe it’s important to recognize and validate one’s own voice. The internal dialogue about what I’m expressing, is sometimes punctuated by thoughts and questiions specific to art in a multicultural world, or multicultural art in an academic context.
Sometimes what moves me to paint can be of a spiritual nature, sometimes it’s political. I’ve always focused on issues that in some form or fashion felt substantive to me – whether it be an encounter with the sublime serenity of nature, or a mundane reminder of human frailty.
And then, while in the act of painting, there flows, the euphoric sensation – sometimes like a runner’s high, sometimes peaceful like a meditation. Sometimes painting feels like I’m feeding and energizing myself emotionally, spiritually and definitely visually – as if my visual receptors are on high octane…..and the world melts away.