In her textile practice, Wood brings together traditional craft techniques and contemporary technology. Her own image acts as a point of departure for works that explore racial, sexual and gender identity as they relate to the Black femme body. As a digital native, Wood deftly navigates an internet environment that is at once a space of celebration and recognition for Black femme figures, as well as a politically loaded site for the ongoing marginalisation and exploitation of their selfhood and culture. Woods’ tapestries combine cybernetic and analogue processes; in her work, a pixel is equivalent to a stitch, each stitch an analogy for the past, present and future of Black femmehood, both on- and off-line, pre- and post-internet.
While Wood’s tapestries blend images from social media with religious, specifically Catholic, iconography, her ‘tuftings’ represent cartoon-like figures that recall the racist caricatures widespread in popular family programmes of the early-mid-20th century and beyond. As well as marking a technical shift from the artist’s tapestry pieces, the tuftings have a distinctly different visual style. In them, Wood adopts a naïve aesthetic that calls on the nostalgia of cartoon animations and their association with racial stereotyping to unpack notions of Black girlhood. Despite their formal simplicity, the tuftings reveal a lurking tension drawn from the artist’s own experiences of consuming media rife with anti-Black prejudice throughout her life. Where the tapestries are absorbed in consumption and cyber culture, the tuftings speak to inherited trauma and necessarily implicate accountability in the viewer.