October 12, 2021 11:30 AM EDT

Artist Statement

Title: The Cost

The Cost was inspired by the concept of Black intergenerational inheritance. This an inheritance that I believe is made up of the sacrifices of Black immigrants, who abandoned or postponed the pursuit of their dreams to ensure the success of future generations. This sacrifice came at such a large price: one that can never be repaid. In reflecting on the price so many generations of Black elders, leaders, and parents have paid, I realized that it is through their sacrifices that I have been able to pursue my own aspirations in life. In painting “The Cost,” I chose to paint myself resting to acknowledge the effort of their labor and how much healing and restoration it brought me. This rest has allowed me to have the time and the energy to imagine a world and space that doesn’t exist yet. The blades of grass I depicted represent the vast number of individuals whose work I am supported by, and whose efforts are my foundation. “The Cost” came out of a desire to see myself as an equal subject of a realistic portrait, and that the focus of my beauty can be captivating enough. I’ve learned it’s expensive to rest and to dream, but they have taught me that I am worth every dime.

About the Artist

Destiny Kirumira is a Black visual artist and architect. After receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and Physics from the University of Alberta in 2018, she completed her Master of Architecture at the University of Calgary in 2021. This year she will be beginning her PhD at McGill University which centers on the history of Black settlements in Canada. As both an architect and artist, Destiny’s work attempts to uproot and reconcile the roots of racism in both fields with a current emphasis on Black spaces and narratives. Ultimately, her art poses questions surrounding race, gender, and politics with the aim of enlightening those of us who have chosen to turn a blind eye to the world’s most grotesque injustices.

@destinykirumira |

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