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Homeward (2024) 

Homeward (adjective)

:1.  being or going in the direction of home


I was born on the traditional lands of my Oceania ancestors, but raised mostly abroad in the diaspora of the American West, so my concept of home is vast and my definition of community is textured. My work is heavily influenced by my childhood upbringing across Tutuila (American Samoa), Las Vegas, NV and Salt Lake City, UT — Born on a Pacific Island/US Territory, Raised in the City of Sin, and Educated through a religious cult —. This series is a meditation on who “The West” is and how a sense of belonging can be informed by three distinctively place-based cultures that are contemporary byproducts of the great experiment we call America. 


Homeward is a visual and physical manifestation of the multitudes of my work – both tangible and intangible. Through this series of 8 images of surreal collage, I am attempting to provide a new depiction of Samoan/Desert/American/Woman/Indigenous/Ocean/Western life in the context of today. This body of work honors my roots, but provides perspective through my lens as a distantly related descendant of the subjects in the photographs. Constantly trying to retool a definition of home that transcends state lines and reframes traditional perspectives of “what it means to be from The West”, this body of work re-imagines time, space, and land as I collage concepts of future worlds where home is not defined by a singular physical address or block of intersections or ancestry alone, but rather home is way of being that is directed by the lands we have traversed as individuals and the people we choose to grow communities with. 


At its core, Homeward is a conversation about how place informs identity and how history has traditionally been framed through the Western gaze. 


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