Basil Kincaid

St Louis, MO

September 2 - 29, 2017

Artist Statement

I am a Vessel, a Vivid Dreamer, and a World Builder. With great interest in playful exploration and improvisation, my work is guided by our connection to ancestral strength, insight, and imagination.

My quest is to understand the wild tapestry of my own personal identity and cultural identity within the African Diaspora, contextualized by the scaffolding of my American experience. I practice self exploration, historical investigation, and critical social questioning to cultivate healing on a personal and cultural level, towards the remedy of Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome.

Within my practice I seek to promote empathy, curiosity, critical thought, conversation, and inclusion. I observe how perception and prejudice impact one’s relationship to place and their sense of belonging or displacement. My goal is to co-create healing sites that stimulate the ancestral memory of love as freedom within us, activating space to participate in shared liberation on local and global scales.

I create experiences, objects, and spaces for interpersonal and ancestral connection. I write, quilt, collage, make installations, photograph, perform, and invent games as avenues of questioning. My work is primarily comprised  of culturally contextualized, found, or donated materials. I often collect materials from people through social media. This methodology explores the seeming immateriality and physical disconnection of online spaces while observing how waste is reflective of lived experience.

I am currently most interested in the practice of Quilting as a way to collaborate with ancestral energy and as a method of empowerment. It is imperative that I nurture the evolution of my creative family traditions, honoring my predecessors while adapting the practice to address the questions and concerns of contemporary life.

My family is my driving motivation and primary artistic influence. Quilting as a practice is saturated on both sides of my family dating back over 100 years. My immediate influence as a quilter is Eugenia Kincaid, my grandmother on my father's side. She appears to me in dreams, guiding my hands as we collaborate on every quilt that I make on a spiritual level. I strongly believe that Quilting opens a portal for me to exist with all of my ancestors that maintained the practice and potentially beyond. Upholding family traditions in the face of oppression is essential within my healing process.

My stylistic approach is influenced by the innovations, practices, and cultural products of Black Americans, and West Africans.  More specifically, I am interested in Black American folk and fine art, music, poetry, and family traditions.

Artist Links


Instagram:  @basilkincaid