Danielle Smith

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Danielle Smith's MPhil/PhD Art research project

So the Cursed May Conjure

Engaging the mechanics of black feminism and autotheory Dani’s research project, So the Cursed May Conjure, is a spiritual exploration of selfhood that aims to query a range of metaphysical trauma as withstanding effects of normalised violences against black female bodies. Converging intimate storytelling and multidisciplinary painting methods through conceptual portraiture, Dani’s practice illustrates examples of modern black female misrepresentations, its various forms of consequences, and executions of resistance against prevailing ideologies.

Conjure Study

The written component of Dani’s research dissects contemporary media through the analytical framework of black feminism, intersectionality studies, and cultural critique, to characterize media’s role as the primary source where dominant cultures derive ideological understandings about other races, cultures, genders, and sexualities and analyze the relationship between digital interpellation of imperialistic and colonial ideology and the continual disenfranchisement of black women

Select media serves as counterpoints and references from which visual formulas of cultural understandings are extracted, dismantled, and subverted via art translation. The artwork evokes moments of struggle, hostility, praise, becoming, and mismatched meanings to mimic the mental acrobatics symptomatic of marginalized individuals who constantly undergo a process of misrepresentation, reconciliation, rejection, and reclamation.

Through this PhD research Dani aims to query the extent in which art can be sociologically constructed to ignite a psychological process within the viewer that transforms prejudiced perspectives while functioning as a tool for social reconditioning and political protest.


  • Sonya Dyer
  • Catherine Grant