Walking across the border, they asked: why are you walking?
In my artistic work, autobiographical material is intertwined with social histories to capture dispersion and the essence of islands. My personal history finds echoes in collective experiences of mobility, such as the state of flux derived from mixed societies that have emerged from the experience of existing between the here and there and between islands and continents. I am not from the island any longer; neither am I a New Yorker. I have become a nomad between cultures, languages and places. My artwork embodies such dislocation and problematic of identity.
Throughout history, people travel to different countries and more heterogeneous cities in search of opportunities and experiences. The phenomenon of the artist in exile for economical or artistic reasons is part of past and contemporary societies. During the Twentieth century, New York had emerged as an art center and many Caribbean artists had experienced time in the city. Puerto Ricans prefer migration to New York, among other states of the East coast, where proximity to the island makes possible frequent travel, so comings and goings and the concept of 'commuting' is part of the island experience.
I belong to a wave of students who moved to New York independently in the 1990s to advance our education and passion for the arts. Perhaps, we moved to New York attracted to a location that offered proximity to the island and also influenced by the comings and goings that are central in our experience. In addition, we traveled to New York fascinated by top art programs, world renowned museums and celebrated artistic neighborhoods.
Sheila Hicks (Sikkema Jenkins & Co.)
Ir de galerías en una tarde gris y de lloviznas. Encontrar el trabajo de Sheila Hick por primera vez. Enamorarse un poco mas de la ciudad por donde gravita tanto arte. Saber que lo mas emocionante del mundo y de la vida es que siempre hay algo nuevo que ver. Sentir una profunda afirmación derivada de saberse conectada al trabajo de otra artista.