Paper Machine hosts artist Lee Laa Ray Guillory as artist in residence, June 2021.
Lee Laa Ray Guillory is a New Orleans based interdisciplinary artist and independent curator whose work is grounded in her devotion to Black mysticism and photographic investigation of intersectional identity. Guillory inherited rituals of hair maintenance, oral mythologies, and alternative photographic practices, serving as the foundational elements of her work. Guillory’s multifaceted art making practice is incited by Louisiana’s religious history of European, Indigenous, and Afro diasporic spiritual syncretization. Her practice follows the tradition of art as ritual, with past works offering divination to the Mississippi River watershed, ancestral veneration via self portraiture, immersive photo-based installations, and spirit-led photography.
“This Is My Body Which Was Broken For You” is a multimedia image and text based project by Lee Laa Ray Guillory that interrogates photography’s complex relationship to colorism and the sexual exploitation of black femme bodies. Channeling the voice of her late maternal grandmother, Guillory carefully weaves together personal diaries, family portraits, childhood illustrations, and sacred text in memoriam of her fallen matriarch. Through this exploration of trauma as a feminine heirloom, Guillory mourns the loss of an ancestor while redefining what the divine feminine means to her.
Featured Image: First Initiation, Lee Laa Ray Guillory