Ethnobiography: White Sketches Over Black Women

Open Access
Smallwood, Daphne Donnetta
Area of Honors:
Bachelor of Fine Arts
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • John Richard Bowman, Thesis Supervisor
  • Simone Osthoff, Honors Advisor
  • Black Churches
  • Baptist
  • Sexuality
  • Christianity
  • Art
Something started to emerge in the midst of my studies that questioned something larger than the artwork itself. Raised in an unhealthy environment, I was urged to present the inner struggles that I experience as an African American woman of faith. My reality is explored through portraiture and collage. Insecure yet strong, my work exhibits the collaged and fragmented parts of my African American identity, as a believer shaped by her society. I am driven to venture into the ways that slavery and the black church have aided in the retention and repentance of African influenced patterns like performance and sexuality. While referencing the fracture of Byzantine icons, I present myself as a fragmented form. As a result of this thesis I hope to better understand the history that has inspired my work. My research on Christianity, slavery, black churches and sexuality has enabled me to successfully explain my creations and to aid in giving me reference for future endeavors.