I am NOT Afraid is my personal response to religious views imposed upon my body as a woman. Growing up and going to religious schools I felt like I had to play this perfect part, do what the church told me, but after finding out my parentage of my father I began to unwind the knot that had a strangle hold around my being.
The classic angel with many eyes in religious iconography is often saying to the person before them “Be Not Afraid!” The female figure in the painting is sitting there in a defiant way with a middle finger up towards the angelic being to say ” I am NOT Afraid” of you or what you may try to do to me. The figure is putting the line in the sand of where it draws the line of this is enough.
Katie Jones was born in Memphis, TN and studied at the Memphis College of Art for her BFA in Painting and a Masters of Art in Teaching in Art Education. A majority of her time is spent making classroom examples or lesson plans but at the request of her therapist she is allowing herself to be “Katie the Artist” again in her life. Her childhood was spent growing up between Frayser and Raleigh in North Memphis and would often draw to escape the harsh reality of growing up without a father in her life. She would often focus on the way people sat or moved with each other then what they were wearing or their faces. Greatly influenced also by the French artist Henri Matisse, the southwestern artist Ted DeGrazia and the street artist Keith Haring she developed her own style of often faceless figures through their fluid motions and actions depict the artist’s how feeling of loss, hope, grieving, cohabitation, separation, anxiety, and dealing with the effects of mental illness hidden behind a façade of bright colors and lines.