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Using cut paper as an outlet, I focused on my emotions during the early part of 2020, how I was worried about my health - mentally and physically, concerned about my family and friends, and was distressed about the effects of Covid on black and brown communities. “Take Care” explores my emotions through the themes of self-care, kindness toward others, and spirituality.

Self-care manifested in me by learning how to braid my hair and adjusting my beauty routine. I wasn’t alone learning this skill; as many Black women found themselves in the same predicament, this limitation connected us. The paper portraits facing each other and bonding by their hair demonstrate empathy as we collectivity survive the pandemic our way.

Incorporating the cowrie shell as adornment in the design gave me a passageway to include my ancestors in my present-day crisis. Cowrie shells represent wealth, protection, and femininity, which are now worn as decoration in the hair.

Like the repetitive and calming nature of braiding one’s hair, the motion of cutting away paper and painting to create braids, cornrows, hair adornments, and lace allowed me to find calmness for myself and create a reminder to stay safe during an unsafe and unfamiliar time.

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