I made this piece a couple of years ago. It is called “You don’t really know me until you look beneath the surface.” As older women, my friends and I often feel that out in the world people see us, with our white hair, or our knitting, as “Grandma” or “Old Lady”. Generic identities that give no recognition to who we really are. Look beneath that generic surface and you will find artists, writers, athletes, activists—maybe even a mermaid!
identity is fluid and situational. It is what determines, too often, whether we belong or not. Is your ethnicity your identity? Is your job your identity? Is your age or financial status your identity? Who determines who you are? This morning I heard Kamala Harris, who I admire, say her mother told her, when she was a child, “Don’t let anyone tell you who you are. You tell them who you are.” In responding to the prompt about identity I plan to tell you who I am. I hope some of my my fellow artists will be doing the same.