Black of the Land and Free
February 20th – March 31st, 2021
As a mixed-race woman of color growing up in today’s America I seek my own freedom within wild spaces. Feet in the soil framing shots and exploring nature is where I feel most liberated.
These photos were taken in Barbados and the Philippines, the island landscapes of my mixed cultural heritage. I took these trips in response to an impetus to discover what it truly felt like to live in freedom without the existential weight of grappling with racial disparity in the United States. Much of my time on these trips were spent in rural areas volunteering on organic farms. Observing my people living in harmony with the land was a revolutionary sight, one that challenged all frames of experiential reference of being Black and autonomous in the world.
I took time off to explore the terrain, and immerse myself into a new lived experience of finding meaning in mother nature. I found myself alone with my camera, the earth, and sea, meditating on what it meant for my ancestors to live in this world outside of the limitations of systematic oppression. Immersing myself in the great outdoors triggered a deep cultural healing, and an empowered way to live as Black of the land and free.
About the Artist
Dennica Pearl Worrell is a Barbadian and Filipino visual artist and musician. She uses photography to explore the intersection of culture and nature. Her work synthesizes her search for freedom as a Black woman in wild spaces through the lens of landscape photography. Vivid wildlife, rare flowers, tropical environments, and portraits of people of color in lush worlds are common subjects in her work.
Dennica graduated from The New School in New York with a Bachelors of Science in Liberal Arts and is presently pursuing her Masters in Media Studies with a concentration in documentary filmmaking. Her photography of Manila marketplaces has been featured at 1310 Gallery in Fort Lauderdale, and her portrait series “Divine Feminine” – which features women of color in nature – has been displayed at the Barbados Embassy in Washington D.C.