top of page

Artist Statment

The experience of being in a new location far from one's country of origin can often result in a disconnection from one's cultural heritage, as well as an intense search for belonging. As an immigrant artist who relocated from Ethiopia to the United States in 2016, I have personally encountered a sense of displacement and confusion as I navigate between different cultures, beliefs, and values that often clash with my upbringing. As I reflect on my past and aspire towards a fulfilling future and acceptance within the new community and culture, I find the process of reimagining my identity to be a challenging one.


In addition, the task of assimilating into American culture as a Black person can be particularly difficult, as I endeavor to maintain a balance between my African heritage and the American cultural landscape. This results in a range of complex emotions, including bravery, excitement, and fear, as I try to navigate this new cultural terrain while also preserving my sense of self. Amid these uncertainties, my identity has undergone a constant evolution, a process that seems to be unending. As a result, constructing one's identity to find a sense of belonging in between cultures can feel like swimming with uncertainty.


To answer the questions that arise from my two-sided identity, one that existed in the past and the one that is currently under construction, I turn to my artwork as a means of communication. Through my artistic expression, I strive to convey the inherent knowledge and wisdom of my African ancestors, as well as the experiences that have shaped my current worldview. Each painting that I create tells a story, and provides a glimpse into my search for wisdom from my roots, as well as the acquisition of new knowledge from my present surroundings. By looking back at my past, I am able to move forward in my journey towards self-discovery, as I create a new identity that bridges my past and present experiences.


Being an immigrant artist in a new cultural landscape can be a complex and challenging experience, as one searches for belonging while constructing their own identity. I believe that art can serve as a means of communication, allowing the artist to share their experiences and insights, as well as capture the wisdom of their ancestors and the knowledge of their current environment. Ultimately, the process of identity formation is ongoing, a journey that involves looking back while moving forward, as one discovers their place in a world full of infinite questions. 

bottom of page