Sendra Uebele

Artist Statement

Currently I am using the tools I have as an artist to help myself externalize my inner thought processes, and create an authentic representation of myself and my communities. As a queer woman I often feel as though my perspective is not always validated, seen, or understood. In the art world and media there is a substantial lack of queer representation, which I find upsetting because it limits the ability to tell our stories. I am specifically interested in the assimilation politics of the queer community, which focuses on the contrasting opinions about either blending the queer community in with the rest of the western world or establishing itself as its own entity. As a young person, I am constantly battling between the application of both of these ideas. I struggle to be an individual because I don’t want to stand out, and because of this I internalize a lot of my experiences and try to tame the outward version of myself.

While in the past I have worked predominantly as a painter, my current work focuses on an interdisciplinary practice through fibers, painting, photography, and sculpture. This multi-media approach allows me to portray the complexity of my situation, which I felt paint alone could not accurately illustrate. I also use color in my work in a very prominent and exaggerated way. I put emphasis on colors that empower the images and help breathe life into them. I also flatten the images and use abstractions of space in my art because as an artist with visually impaired depth perception I believe it is a more genuine point of view. Recently, I have been using a lot of layering in  my work as a way to represent the different parts of myself, and of the people in my art. A large aspect of this layering is my use of embroidery. I feel personally invested in the feminine history of the medium, and use it as a way to show strength.

Within these pieces I’ve been working with figurative forms, language, and self portraiture, as well as abstractions of these images. I find myself drawn to these things for a number of reasons. The figurative imagery in my work is predominantly inspired by my peers. I recognize the ability to create a safe space for them in my work, and for their voices to be heard. This is also why language plays an important role in my art; it is one of the most direct forms of communication. Being able to use language as its own figure helps me articulate these conflicts to the viewer.

I have the ability to create a safe and empowering place for people who feel their voices are not being heard. I am focused on how my art can tell a story of a community and of myself as an individual within it, and I hope my work can add to the dialogue of queer artists and help to expand the visibility and understanding of a more diverse population.