Tampa-based Ya Levy La’ford’s art practice explores journeys, pathways, space, and the metaphysical complexities therein. La’ford’s work seeks to communicate humanity’s unseen experiences within the intricacies of geometric laden layers united through interconnecting lines. As a first-generation Jamaican American, she moves between her own heritage and vulnerable communities in an attempt to find a universal language. Her work reflects La’ford’s cultural hybridity through her journey to challenge notions of humanistic patterns and spirituality.
For Skyway 20/21: A Contemporary Collaboration, La’ford transformed the gallery space with American/Rōōts (2021), a site-specific installation consisting of gold and black geometric pattern that represents the concept of interconnectedness between all living things. The interwoven lines reference the rhizomatic system of roots found in nature, and the two glowing sculptures with gold-chromed surfaces, Antimatter and Neutrinos (both 2021), present abstracted views of trees.
This work is an invitation to reflect on the collective trauma endured as a result of recent political conflict, a global health pandemic, and the ongoing climate crisis. Bringing the community together is at the forefront of this work, which offers a contemplative space for regeneration inside the museum that seeks to extend beyond its walls.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website