Sonya Clark, Indira Allegra, Malcolm Peacock & Nastassja Swift
In 2021 Art Matters was proud to launch a new regranting program titled Artist2Artist, where our grant recipients — artists — act as grant-makers. How does Artist2Artist shift moments of fracture and competition, to support the care networks artists want to build? In four Zoom recordings, we get a glimpse into the relationships, process, and practice of Artist2Artist’s pilot year fellows. Playful and profound, these revelatory exchanges model how artists and culture workers empower their creative kindred. We are grateful to them for allowing us to learn from these intimate Artist2Artist conversations.
Nastassja Swift 13:31
Okay. Drumroll, please. No, I'm just kidding.
Sonya Clark 13:37
I know, I know. I'm just happy to be in this virtual space with you all again. And I don't know how we want to begin, how do you want to begin?
Nastassja Swift 13:52
What's a good way, something that doesn't feel so formal? Maybe we share what we had for breakfast today. Then, we can talk about our relationships with each other. I don't know. What do you guys think?
Indira Allegra 14:09
I think through performance. I was like, well, I could sound a note and then do something in response to that note, and then we could like, make a thing.
Nastassja Swift 14:18
I like that too.
Indira Allegra 14:19
Okay. And then I'm having
Sonya Clark 15:05
Malcolm is there and in spirit.
Nastassja Swift 15:09
Describe, describe your sound and then we'll try to describe your sound or movement.
Sonya Clark 15:18
I love these voices.
Indira Allegra 15:20
Awesome. Sonya, do you sing?
Sonya Clark 15:26
Not publicly? I will I will share with you about this that I'm married to a musician and, and as small love torture, I think to him. And you know, just to tease him a little bit because he's such a kind and generous. So he turns teacherly and he'll say, oh, what you did is he'll deconstructed in this very loving way. Like I am trying to really sing off key and be a little obnoxious and he he just diffuses it every time which is so funny. Like I'm teasing him and he just like lovingly says everything is music. Yeah, yeah.
Indira Allegra 16:12
I love it. I love it so much. What do you have for breakfast?
Sonya Clark 16:19
What did I have for breakfast? Well, I had a late I actually woke up very early. We don't have I don't have curtains in the bedroom. So when the sun is up, we are up and and that's where like to get up. So I woke up early, but then I was reading a book for a long time. And then by the time I had breakfast, I went straight from breakfast into lunch, so I had muesli with milk and then I went straight into some chicken and vegetable leftovers. A different way of thinking about brunch, just breakfast straight into lunch. And I went and watered our garden. Yeah.
Indira Allegra 16:58
Oh, I love that we could have breakfast. That's right, everyone eats around.
Nastassja Swift 17:09
Malcolm said my sound would be the high note from many repetition. And I think this on the shower, but I don't know if I should sing this. Like in my mind, I'm like but I know someone else could probably do it much better
Sonya Clark 17:34
than Raj and Malcolm doing it. And that's what works for me. Yeah. Thank you, Malcolm. I love it. I loved India, when you when you gave us a note it felt it felt like you know, it was deep enough to feel like a vibration that you've been through. I mean, of course all sound this vibration, but like I felt it. You know, I tried to go even deeper. Did you all hear me?
Indira Allegra 18:13
No, I can't hear you. Barely.
Sonya Clark 18:15
You didn't hear me. So I was let me see if I can. I was like, oh, yeah, that I'm gonna do it really loud now. Yeah.
Indira Allegra 18:26
Oh, wow. That's wonderful.
Sonya Clark 18:28
So, like, in my belly, you know? Yeah.
Nastassja Swift 18:33
Yeah, that was actually I mean, as much as it's fun to I love food. So I love knowing what other people ate. I think the kind of connection between like what our our like, intuitive contribution would be to this little introduction, performance felt really beautiful, because like, I'm sitting here thinking while you guys are talking about performance pops up and all of our practices. I know that's not one of the questions, but like, it's already it feels like it's already in the conversation because it shows up in the way that we work. So Indira, thank you for that.
Indira Allegra 19:10
Yeah. I feel like I feel like the larger questions which are interesting to me, and I'll talk to you or toss these out there. And now. When thinking about performance, I think about the energy which you allow yourself to chin. This is kind of porousness my experience with a kind of person is with the narrative of a place or with the ideas or materials that you're working with the tools that you allow them to and their capabilities to enter you in some way. And so I'm curious like what types of archetypal energies Do you feel like you're working with in your practice? It's become very clear to me that I mean, like art is a vehicle for so many different things, but like, what is the almost want to say? What is your higher calling that you are mobilizing your career to be in service of? And is that a kind of archetypal energy that you can be connected with? Because I think we're living through a moment where we are witness to archetypal evil. Right? Violence, which feels so much larger and is so much larger than any one individual human body. And so let what's the power source for us that we're pulling from that I think is even greater than the materials that we're working? You know,
Sonya Clark 20:45
yeah, I so appreciate that. And your boy, did I pick the right people. it right in there.
Indira Allegra 20:57
Sonya Clark 20:59
I think about the responsibility to my ancestors, who I believe are with me at all times. And there's a way in which we can talk about our ancestors in this very, in this very noble way. Right, right. But I am sure given my heritage, that there are ancestors who were not noble. And, and so I think about what do you do with both good energy that is responsible for your being, and also negative energy that is responsible for your being so thinking about being in an alchemy chemical moment, right? To take the good energy of those who formed who I am, and amplify that and recalibrate that which is bad energy, and then to also understand that, that all of it is just energy, like this idea that when I'm working with materials, I think to myself, it's all Star Dust. Everything. We are all Star Dust, it's all Star Dust, it's you know, and so what am I doing as Star Dust, with the other star dust? To amplify what I hope to amplify? Right? Yeah, yeah.
Nastassja Swift 22:36
Yeah, I think I mean, Sonya, when you said, when you first mentioned ancestors, like that, I was like, Oh, she's taking the words out of my mouth. Because I there have been elderly women who've talked with me about my work. And some of the things that they've said, have either been that I'm doing Spirit work, which I think when I started making these masks, I didn't connect it in that way. Like, I feel like I understood it on a deeper level, but I don't think I was articulating it in that way. And I think she also told me that she was like, I don't know what your biological DNA is, but your spiritual DNA is West African, and, like, specific, like she was like nailing it down to the region or to the to the tribe. And I was like, badgers felt deep. But like, in thinking about this mask work that I'm doing, I definitely feel like, I'm, like, I'm following. I'm tapping into this lineage that it just feels natural to share what I'm sharing in this way. And I think because because of that collaboration community become just like these organic components of the work, because that's what I'm speaking to and like, that's what I'm pulling from performance or ceremonies or rituals aren't done individually. And what I'm like tapping into so like, community feels like it's a part of that vehicle just as much as like, the wool or the beads or the water, like all of these different things. I feel like I'm, I'm, I'm, yeah, I'm speaking like this language of a lineage that I haven't gotten to know. But I have gotten to know I don't know if any of that makes sense.
Sonya Clark 24:24
Actually, in this subject, one of the things that I think about because I am I don't want to say resist, but there are people who were real performers. And then and then in my work, what I would say is that sometimes I make the action more present. Right. But I, I humbly feel like there there are true performers and then there's like me making an action present, you know, which feels a little different and, and Think about how even in a static object, it's the it's the Grieux, for the performance that made it. Like the static object, like even if one of your masks nostalgia is, is there not being performed, it is still the Grieux for your hands. For whoever shared the the sheep that provided the will for you, like all of those, all of those participants and collaborators, those who you know, and those of you don't know, the very bones and blood of your ancestors who were helping you make this thing, all of that presence is in the object, regardless of whether it's actually activated in that moment of the object holds all of that energy itself. So I think that both was static objects. And when I'm activating,
Nastassja Swift 25:55
you know, it's so actually, I wish I could like play you saying that next to this like documentary that's being worked on, because I'm literally talking about the way the masks become activated on someone's shoulders. But that presence, that spiritual presence that I talked about, that mask kind of hold doesn't go away, it's just not being activated in the same way. And that's like, literally verbatim what I'm saying.
Sonya Clark 26:19
It's kind of crazy to hear you
Nastassja Swift 26:22
say that, but yeah, I when I'm looking at the masks, like just even if they're just like, kind of draped across the table not positioned for like display. But just because I said them there, they still feel like they're holding so much power and so much energy. And like those stories aren't like turned off just because it's not being performed in so I totally agree. Like, all of all, this is holding everything.
Sonya Clark 26:46
And I also think that objects have the power to absorb us and absorb all of those stories, right? All of them. Like, as sentient beings almost, here, I'd love to hear you your your response to all of this too. And I see Malcolm has been, yeah, that too. So
Indira Allegra 27:09
hold on, let me let me catch what Malcolm put in the chat. I have been thinking for the last year or so that there's little separation between my performance work and my visual breeding work. I am thinking of the performance of labor as extension extension. I recently studied the etymology of the word tend tend to means to extend and to stretch, typing out loud here, but I'm feeling and thinking through the surrendering and submission that comes with breeding one's head. Although I'm never working on a head, I feel deeply my first experiences of watching my mother tend to my family's heads. Thank you, Malcolm.
Sonya Clark 28:03
I love at apology Malcolm. So I really appreciate that. And I too love the idea of tend someone who and the complications of someone who tends to another so that person would be a tender. And the idea that tender also stands for money. And to think how that cycles back to African Americans being chattel slaves like this, this sort of thing of like taking care and being that that caretaking also turning into this language of currency and how we ourselves were currency. Yeah, so that that full cycle around the word tend
Indira Allegra 28:47
Malcolm says tend to spread. So the practice itself feels to me to be a bridge between her and I. Yes, exactly. So thank you. Thank you both. In terms of the Swan, you'd asked me to, to speak on the answer to my own question for you. Um yeah, so before becoming before doing art in this way, I was a sign language interpreter. I worked as a bilingual advocate at a domestic violence shelter. I was a union organizer. And I've been a sex worker on and off for a long time. And I think in each of these ways of caring for human beings, I stand with them at a portal. It's a moment of transformation, where something in a prior life has especially in the case of Working in a DVD situation they are having to say goodbye to what was before that has passed away, it is falling away. And I'm working in the role of a guide. I I'm holding their hand as they're moving into the next same work as the what the interpreter does, you know. And in the case of sign language interpretation, my body is literally the medium that holds the text that is connecting these two people together. Same thing when working with people's desire lives, and when working as a union, like a organizing steward, in their workplaces. So I feel like all of that comes into all that training comes into my practice as an artist of working at thresholds, and working at portals and thinking about thinking about the role of the psychopath, this archetype that goes back the role of the realm of Harriet Tubman, you go back, to get folks in you guide them through foresee darkness, whatever that darkness is, for a person, place or thing. Am I allegiance is larger than I think, to a human audience alone, right? And how do you guide someone through to the next thing, and I don't have judgment about what the next thing is. But I think that I am, in my life had been consistently present for people places and things and moments of great transformation, which often include a loss or death have a certain kind of ego. And that really tender space of moving into another thing. So I sort of see that, regardless of what I might do in this lifetime, that that's like the big work. And that my practice as an artist can be a way of Yeah, actualizing and inviting people into transformative adventures, you know, where it's not, we're changing all the time. You know, and it's not a, I think there's a high premium, if you will, that's paid on stability, security, that you know what's coming next. And if I know anything about my own body, at this point, I know that things are always shifting, I'm standing right now at this desk. And that requires the micro movements of so many different muscles to allow me to stand up, right. And I look like I'm still when a man, you know, even the act of standing, there's so much emotion, which is happening within the body. So I think partnering with that sense of motion, that's always happening, and always changing and providing a sense of encouragement in the face of transmutation, which involves, of course, being able to ally with many different materials and types of people and narratives in different places. A lot of tools are required. Think about all the stuff that a midwife has to know. You know. Yeah, that's, that's the big work, if that makes any sense.
Sonya Clark 33:42
I love this notion of non fixedness, and improvisation. And I think about the resilience that happens when one is masterful around improvisation, and the requirements of resilience and improvisation. For the Heritage's that are evident that we all share, right? And, and I think about I think about this nation and how this nation, so much of it wouldn't exist if it weren't for the improvisations, that people of African descent have brought, you know, in every possible way, in language and food and music and dance and like everything in writing in every possible possible way, and just being right. And so, so I really, I really appreciate that, that thinking about taking people from one threshold to another, you know, there's a study that says that when you walk through a doorway, your brain sort of gets washed a little Bit now I'm probably showing my age I know I'm no I'm the elder in this group. So sometimes when I lose a thought, if I go back to the space that it was, it's like the Thought Bubble is just waiting, like, we got detached and that, you know, and often it's that I've gone through many portals or doorways, you know. And, and so that's an interesting thing. I wonder what that is about if it's like really primal from from being birth? Yeah, anyway,
Nastassja Swift 35:40
I wanted to I you when you mentioned, like the power and resilience and improvisation. That was a conversation that I just had recently with my partner. Because I've been like, really, so I bought a house a couple of months ago, a I've been learning lots to learn. But I've recently gotten into like, wanting to learn about composting. Like my, you know, my mom and my dad, they didn't like they didn't recycle, that just wasn't something that happened in our household and in my partner's family that was big for them. So once we started sharing a space, I was learning something that was he was already used to. And then now I'm getting excited about learning how to compost and, you know, we have these conversations about what's available online who's providing this information. And, and especially in thinking about, like, he made this comment, you know, black mothers and families improvisation was out of survival. He was like, you know, your stepdads mother was soaking eggshells and water to water her plants because she couldn't afford Miracle Grow. And there are blogs,
Sonya Clark 36:49
better than Miracle Gro
Nastassja Swift 36:53
like in about it within like the work that I'm doing. Like just as artists, the way we improv and thinking about the way that we work in our spaces, whether it's a studio or wherever that may be, just the way that in like, to how intuitive it is to just figure it out. And I think that's like, it feels like it's ingrained and like our DNA to like, we're going to make this work, whether it's because we have to, we need to I have to see it done. From the compost to the work that you're doing. Like it. I feel like improvisation is just like, it's a follicle. And
Sonya Clark 37:32
yes, I love that you turned it to a hair metaphor. I both appreciate that. Yeah, and I would say the other thing about improvisation being married to a professional and improviser, you know, married to a jazz musician, is that you have to know your scales, right? I mean, you're basing their improvisation on something. Right? And so that, too, is this sort of carrying forward and sometimes realization of epigenetic knowledge, you know. So sometimes I think that I have happened upon something. And I, my ego will say, Oh, that's a great idea that I, you know, thought of came upon, and I think, or it's an emergence of something, that it was already there. The seed that is deeply, deeply rooted for some, you know, 10th, great grandmother, that has that, decided that in this moment, I'm worthy. You know, at this moment, you're ready. And this moment, you're worthy in this moment, you might do something with this, you might actually bring this forward. Right. And so sometimes I think about improvisation, being about the ability to be present to make of what is there any way? I mean, right. Especially like the examples that you were given. I mean, I was sort of not teasing you about Miracle Gro, I believe so much in the Indian indigenous knowledge is that get erased, right? And how, how companies will say things like, oh, that medicinal practice is superstition, until they do the research and then suddenly, then it becomes you know, then it's in your, in your prescription.
Nastassja Swift 39:29
I have a bag of eggshells just waiting to be soaked so I can water all of my plants. So it's information.
Sonya Clark 39:36
Brian's eggshells, like, you know, like so many things that are better folks know, you know?
Nastassja Swift 39:44
Yeah, Malcolm said in every way that improvisation in the suspension of our propensity for certainty, is really where we can find sovereignty and autonomy. I'm not having to be I'm not having to be held against or held up to the The walls of knowing Yeah, yeah.
Sonya Clark 40:06
Malcolm, oh my gosh, you all I can't even tell you Can I just talk about my ego for a moment? A moment. So this is this is what's happening with my ego right now I am in this space with these brilliant minds and these brilliant thinkers. And I'm thinking good on me.
Nastassja Swift 40:28
Yes, great on you.
Indira Allegra 40:34
I love it. No, I send you I wanted to come back to to, you know what you were saying about that moment when things come through? And it seems like they're coming through from like a 10th generation before I started going through an early menopause two years ago. And and in many ways, I think it's the most athletic thing I've ever done. And that there's a way in which Yeah, it it's, like conversation is an improvisational activity, right? Yes, of course. Yeah. And so you know, the more facility that you have with the language, then the better you can improvise. And I feel like the this additional experience of menopause is like, such a beautiful training or tool that other things can begin to come through that, like, I wasn't prepared to know, beforehand. And what a loving curriculum, because how overwhelming would it be to know everything at once? You know, you don't walk into a classroom on the first day, and have the professor tell you everything that's going to happen in this semester. That would be so overwhelming for people. Yeah, so I think that there's also something in here around trusting processes. I see my whole life as being a kind of curriculum, you know that I'm enrolled in no grades. Malcolm,
Sonya Clark 42:14
I see. The methods
Indira Allegra 42:17
of struggle you say are improvised in the cell. Improvise in the air improvised from nothing. The enclosure provides a field for heroic deeds. It is the riot, like the general strike a bridge between now and the Free Territory. They dream a new set of arrangements Cydia.
Sonya Clark 42:40
I'm assuming that's the Dr. Hartman. Yes. Yeah. Because that sounds like her brilliance. Yes.
Indira Allegra 42:48
I see that there. Oh, and another quote by Arnold Camp. This time, what is the point of doing all this research? If you already know everything? That's the Thank you.
Sonya Clark 42:59
Yeah, if you already know everything that's gonna happen. What's the point? Yeah. Yeah. You know, it's an interesting thing. People always asking artists like, where did this idea come from? That I mean, it's one of my it's like, the standard question you get and one, since it's such a simple and can be a kind of delve down question. But when I when I approach approach it more generously, I think, yeah. What a deep question.
Sonya Clark 43:29
Where an idea comes from. Yeah.
Nastassja Swift 43:33
Yeah. When people ask me, What inspires me or what I'm inspired by? I'm like, Well, let me take you on a trip. Because it's not one thing. It feels like this journey of multiple things that are that sometimes I don't even realize are connected until I have to tell someone I'm like, Oh, I didn't realize that when I was thinking of this being a couple wherever I go. I was, you know, trying to understand this other thing, and they're connected. So it definitely feels like it's not a it's not a one stop shop, at least for me. Like the way I'm thinking or things I'm pulling from it just feels like this journey. That's like, everlasting or something.
Sonya Clark 44:11
Yeah. And yeah, everlasting. Like it's a journey that right now the way that your Star Dust is made up to make nostalgia. It you know, like, you're on this journey, but like this long, long journey that started way before we can even think about and we're part of it, and then this other thing, something in that question makes, it can force us into a kind of linearity. That doesn't feel true to me personally. I feel like an idea is not also not fixed like it. It might have had several tentacles that coalesced into something, but even that single thing is branching from that, right. So So it never, it always feels rhizomatic and having to try and express it, of course, I can tell a nice story. And then artists talk with some PowerPoints I can do that. I know, I know, you know, like a good story is a good story. But But, but there's so much that's being that's not being told. And as such, I really appreciate what you're saying too, because sometimes, in those same artists talks, where, you know, I have the same three images in a row, and I think I know what I'm going to say something else emerges that I have not thought about, right?
Indira Allegra 45:37
Hi, I usually associate this with either something epigenetically has emerged, or it's the presence is being with an audience that I've never been with before. And so our psychic connection, or spiritual connection means that something that I've shown has made someone else think something. And I feel that and out of my mouth comes this other connection that I hadn't thought of before. And then it doesn't feel like is this my idea? I feel this idea belongs to a whole you know. I love this thing that you said weather loving, correct weather loving curriculum. I'm gonna quote you on that repeal in life is it is like weather loving, and to think about it that way, you know? Mm hmm. One of the things we we should share with each other is how we're connected. And Indira, you know, it's for me this is very simple, because I knew Natasha and Malcolm as as artists that VCU manage the Virginia Commonwealth University manage not to mess up I'm great. Yeah, I know I didn't make the Malcolm just write some things. Um, and interior with you, it was a different thing. Like I actually I can't remember when I first encountered your work. But, but I we have the Art Institute of Chicago in common. Right. Oh, do we know.
Indira Allegra 47:27
I went to in terms of where I went.
Sonya Clark 47:31
Yeah. Did you? Did you teach there something? Maybe I have that wrong? No. Oh.
Indira Allegra 47:35
I've been west coast this entire time.
Sonya Clark 47:39
Okay, so it's somewhere else? Yeah, I don't even have that. Right. So it's not an educational institution. I I actually don't remember when I first encountered your work. But I remember that I kept digging, I was like, I need to know more about this artists, I need to know more about this artist and need to know more about this artist. And we have, to my knowledge, we've never actually been in the same physical space with one another. But we've been in each other's heartspace. I see. Like, when I first encountered your work, I think I nominated you for something that you got, but I'm still not allowed to say I think it goes. And, and it was such a pleasure to to find your work. And so and, and find your way of thinking, so expansive and generous. And, and really, deeply resonant, you know? And so, um, thank you. You're welcome. You're welcome. And thank you and Malcolm, you have been speaking about improvisation. You've been a warrior since the moment that I met Malcolm? Well, I would say, in the educational setting that I mentioned before, you were, you know, Malcolm was in this position where there was support from some people and, and in Raging battles of white supremacy. And Malcolm did not shy a moment from this. And that kind of warrior spirit is something that I just thought this is unquenchable. Know, this, it taught me so much you know, like this. So that coupled with a tenderness because I know Malcolm was working for even from them with issues around hair and tender and tending in his mother and and familial connections. And so there was a resonance there for me because that's all territory that feels very familiar like we Swimming in the same pool with you who I'd never had the I never taught either of you. I mean, I was just in your you know, we were in the same to teach you had an honors you beating class but it was for honor students and I was like so yeah, I mean, I taught but I'd never taught you I never had unity to teach you and I remember you first heard a needle felting disease a small, small people and and then watching them grow and grow and thinking about scale and thinking about what you wanted to bring forth. And now that performance that you've brought into it, it just feels like a beautiful blossoming. You know, what do you mean, just like absolutely a beautiful blossoming. So when this opportunity came to say who I would like to be associated with for this moment for this opportunity. It was hard, because there are a lot of talented people out there. But it was easy in the sense of each one of you brought this something that I just feel is so unique and yet so tied together. Something is like in one sense, many of us were mining the same territory, but the but you all are each bringing like a singular, generous and generative vision. Right. And that, to me is is truly exciting. truly exciting. Yeah. But you won't know, I know, obviously, Malcolm in this data, you know each other. But have you ever have you been? Did you know either of these two? No.
Indira Allegra 51:52
No, I've not had the privilege or the pleasure. Yeah, but if I, where are you located? Actually?
Nastassja Swift 52:00
I'm in Virginia,
Indira Allegra 52:01
in Virginia. Okay. And Malcolm also are no,
Nastassja Swift 52:05
no, I know that the last time I saw Malcolm he was in New Orleans, but I don't know, Malcolm, are you in Baltimore? Or are you still in Louisiana?
Indira Allegra 52:18
I see Malcolm wrote earlier what a time What a time
Sonya Clark 52:22
relationship. It was. It was a time. Yeah. The time?
Indira Allegra 52:29
Oh, you're in the PNL. Okay. But I'm normally in Baltimore. Okay. That's awesome. Yeah, Sonya, thank you so much. I mean, I when I work with my mentees, I've for them your talks. Not only to introduce them to your work, but to say this is a way that we can be within the art world. This is a way that we can cite our references. This is a way that we can be generous, this is a way that we can lead a ministry of Love through the artists talk. And I'm so grateful. Because I feel like that is it's just such a it's such a gift. And it's like, yeah, just know that it's something that I feel like has impacted. It's been this like alternative text for my abilities around like, how it can be, you know, and what can be available to you when you're, you're open to information coming in from 10 generations. Yes, you know, and so I'm I'm so yeah, I'm just so grateful that that you exist and that it's the way in which you move. It's your methodology. The way you treat people. That is it's not only making work, but it's healing the field that we are working in. And that's profound for me,
Sonya Clark 54:27
you're gonna make me cry, but which that happened before and now. I'm so I'm so grateful to you for saying that. And I'm not sure if I have actually lived up to all that you've said but it's work that I hope to keep doing. And I think about I think about it, people who have become receptive recent ancestors, cultural ancestors, you know, I think about smella Lewis, too, is often called the godmother of African American art and David Driscoll who would be the godfather of African American art, who both passed away during this pandemic times. And actually, David was the first person I know, to have. David Driscoll was the first person I know to have died of, from COVID. And, and their generosity of spirit. I mean, Samila put me in a book that she'd written on African American art. And I felt seen, I was like, What sumela What is happening here, you know, and it's such early work that now I'm like, nobody looked at those images, but but, but, you know, to what we can do with each other and for each other. You know, of course, I'm thinking about elders, but I'm also thinking about how students and peers and friends and fellow artists and children and people my age group and the people who seem like they're not at all connected to me in any way, we can still find a connection, how we can become mirrors for one another's growth and, and purpose. And so and so that's what I appreciate about being in the communities that I belong to, and actually sometimes being outside of communities that I don't belong to just to try and understand even more of who I am. The contour of difference, let's say right thank you so much. Oh, dear, that those were very, very sweet words. I mean, this I don't know if I'm a sweet person, but I'm honest. Well, well, I have to say I will take honesty over over empty calories sweet. Because honesty is sustenance. That's right. Sweetness just by itself. That's candy might give you a high actually last Yeah. Toast corn syrup here.
Indira Allegra 57:32
Oh, my goodness.
Nastassja Swift 57:36
Y'all, I think we're at the airport. Oh, yeah. I think we're at time. Let's see, did Malcolm add something else? Oh, Malcolm had lots to say. Well, someone else read that. In there. I love the way you read with with space. And I if you don't mind.
Sonya Clark 57:55
Invoking Malcolm's voice, Yes.
Indira Allegra 58:04
Actually, how I started out was as a poet, and he led me into and you know, it was in a dance program 1000 years ago. And then all of that kind of led me into this like fine art space. I feel that Sonya has offered me a level of rigor and critique that I was unable to receive from so many in the academic space. During my junior year, we met for the first time. And I remember being so struck by how firm she was with my work, but also how deeply invested she was in my well being. One day amid all of the white supremacy that had occurred, we encountered each other in the snow on Lombardi Street. And with my head hanging low of exhaustion with everything. I was also still grieving the recent death of my father. Sonya asked me if I was okay. And I said, Yeah, and proceeded home. And then she reached out her hand and said, a lot is going on. I want to know that you okay? So this tendency to hold protect is something I will never forget. I'm trying to hold and keep this level of vulnerability in my life and the work at all times. For it is deeply impacted my being and purpose.
Sonya Clark 59:33
Malcolm, I'm so grateful for you. I'm so grateful for the work that you do. I mean, I you you've made some pieces that I just know James Baldwin. James Baldwin proud. Yeah, I just, I'm, I'm so I'm so honored to that there was serendipity that brought all of you into my life in some way or another I'm deeply grateful for that. So we are at the our a little bit beyond. I'm sure they have plenty of things.
Nastassja Swift 1:00:11
I think we gave some pretty great stuff.
Sonya Clark 1:00:15
If we do say so ourselves! Happy summer solstice to you all right, yes.
Indira Allegra 1:00:25
Yeah, the longest day of the year.
Nastassja Swift 1:00:27
Bring great light into your life.
Sonya Clark 1:00:32
Thank you and likewise to you and your and thank you for all the light that all of you bring.
Nastassja Swift 1:00:40
Thank you, Sonya.
Sonya Clark 1:00:42
Bye bye. You're welcome. Bye bye, everybody. Bye, Malcolm. Take good care of yourself, Malcolm. Yes, yes. Bye, everyone.