In my most recent collection titled “Bothered.”, I explore the various facial expressions of neglected emotions. The collection seeks to reveal what lies underneath the persona of the Strong Black Woman to create more awareness of the importance of mental health in the Black Community. When I began my process of creating this collection, I started by logging my emotional state as I was emerging from a traumatic experience. The process of making the mask allowed me to analyze my emotions and created space for me to heal. I knew that my trauma was not isolated and that there were other women who continue to fight through their feelings while masking it under the need to appear strong and secure as they navigate their lives. What started off as a personal project, turned into an ongoing collection of work that will continue to foster dialogues about mental health, trauma, and societal pressures placed on Black Women in America.
In this collection, I’ve created life-sized faces with features that resemble no one and expressions familiar to everyone. The human form is the force behind my work. Referencing many different faces of women of African descent allows me to compile a variety of different features to create a new face for every mask. The masks are made from wheat stone clay finished with black underglaze. The underglaze allows the texture of the raw clay to emerge, adding to my interpretation of the human face. My work is not meant to be aesthetically pleasing, my goal is to expose raw, unfiltered emotion. Through each mask, I hope to inform and connect with my audience while creating an everlasting conversation about mental health in the Black Community.
Corrin Grooms is a Michigan-based ceramic sculptor, whose work focuses on femininity, the human form, and, mental health from the Black Female perspective. Raised in a home, robust with art and surrounded by a family full of talented creatives, Corrin Grooms learned at an early age that there was no limit to her creativity. She was given boundless support to allow her imagination to flourish and always knew that she was going to be an artist.
Corrin had the privilege of growing up in the city of Detroit, Michigan, where she was able to develop her talent and lay the foundation for her art career. She was enrolled in classes at College for Creative Studies at the age of 8 and continued throughout her teens as she attended Detroit School of Arts (DSA) high school and majored in Visual Arts. She took her first ceramics class at DSA which helped her land an internship at the renowned Pewabic Pottery in Detroit. This internship was a pivotal moment in her art career when she knew that this was the medium that she would dedicate herself to mastering. She went on to study art at Saginaw Valley State University with a concentration in ceramic arts and a minor in graphic design.
Throughout her life, she created her works as a celebration of her black femininity and strength and now through conscious efforts, she seeks to create awareness of the Black feminine existence and societal pressures that are placed upon Black women in America. Through personal struggles as a result of trauma, Corrin has been able to display herself through her work, while connecting with countless women who have also struggled emotionally in their lives. She believes that there is so much work to be done to raise awareness of mental health in the black community and her artwork is only the beginning.
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