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                             NOELLE LORRAINE WILLIAMS

Noelle Lorraine Williams is an artist whose life's work exemplifies her continued interest in engaging people in conversations using art, history and contemporary culture, as well as writing about the ongoing spiritual crisis in the United States.

Condoleezza Rice

American Mythology

Noelle Lorraine Williams


Condoleezza Rice
American Mythology

2006-2012

​​My work is a mediation on contemporary American identity, I use Black women's bodies and histories to serve as a visible, spiritual and emotional manifestation of this query

Condoleezza Rice represents the border line(s) this mash-up of alienation, but profoundly spiritual state of our nation.

 
Who are we?

"We" are the real and mythic African pasts - I use Punu masks from West Africa, which I clean, carve out and repaint white and drill. I also do special prayers and rituals with them as I build the sculpture.
 
Men use these to perform as women in tribal tales and folklore - before for the community - now for tourists.  As African Americans it is in our DNA BUT we also are tourists, students, frankly even multigenerational Africans are as well.
 
I build an armature made out of about 25 pieces of wood for the base body.  I sew the dresses manipulating patterns based on fairy tale characters - like Alice + Wonderland and Snow White since I feel these fairytales occupy a strong part of all of our imaginations about our national identity and racial/gender/immigration beliefs.
 
I bead - using traditional African, Native and European techniques.  All of the bead structures are improvisational.

They are Condoleezza's but ultimately, they are me and the re-telling over and over again of stories by my 9-11 year old self.