I am a multi-media artist whose work utilizes printmaking, bookmaking and illustration.
As a practicing Black artist, my work focuses on highlighting the narratives of my community on their natural hair journeys. By creating through storytelling, I shed light and give back to those that raised me into the woman I am today.
:: An informal interview with Francesca
What are your preferred pronouns?
Where do you call home?
What is your program and year of graduation?
Mount Royal School of Art: Multidisiplinary MFA, May 2022
What inspired you to take the leap of going to graduate school?
During my time in undergraduate at MICA, I realized that I was learning a variety of skills but I needed to take my practice a step further. As a working artist, research is a vital part of my practice and sustains my ideologies. I knew that graduate school would help me conceptualize my skills and research into a growing body of work.
How has this scholarship impacted your thinking and process during your time in graduate school?
The Leslie King-Hammond Graduate Fellowship has afforded me the opportunity to think outside of my comfort zone of art making. In my processes, I've become more intentional on why I create my work and assessing how I make work. I have used this time to combine traditional and contemporary art forms to create work that not only speaks to myself but also the viewers. This fellowship reminds me daily of how far I've come and the life long journey I will have as a working artist.
What have you been working on? Share the driving questions and inspiration that informs your work as an artist, designer, educator and/or activist.
My focus is particularly a discussion on natural hair in the black community and society as a whole. I started off with research on each curl type from the loosest curl, 3A, to the tightest, 4C. The first half of this discussion was to create a hair guide that was unchallenging and also educated viewers on what each curl type needs to be maintained. With anything in life, there are regimens. I sought to collect these regimens and thought of them as self care rituals that needed to be thoroughly investigated. After creating the guide, I started to think about my own hair story along with stories from my relatives and close friends. I asked myself "how could listening to the stories of others influence my practice as an artist and designer?" This question is a headliner when conducting interviews, watching documentaries, and researching artists who also are immersed in this conversation of natural hair culture. Currently, I am working on handmade books that turn into sculptural elements discussing the trauma behind black hair. I feel obligated as an artist to speak on as many underlining topics within black hair culture and educate others through my practice.
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IG: @_hair_stories_ Website: https://fdorsey29.wixsite.com/hairstories