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Kayla Nichelle Jones | Virginia, United States

I was eight years old when I became one of the 2.7 million children in America who have a parent incarcerated within the United State’s prison system. This body of work explores the complexities of trying to maintain a relationship with my incarcerated father for many years as a growing child and even today as an adult. A small and crowded visitation room with about 25 or so computer screens lined up was the only way I was able to maintain face to face interactions with my father for the first year or two of my father’s sentence. Letters and phone calls kept up our daily conversations talking about my day or how school was going. As I got older my relationship was harder to keep with my father who was in and out of prison with long sentences and staying in mostly maximum security state prisons. As an adult, I started to create a body of work that would allow me to reclaim the traumas I faced with having an incarcerated father and the lack of a relationship because of it.


Kayla Nichelle. Jones is a working interdisciplinary artist based in Virginia. In 2022, she received an honorary BFA in Photography/Film at Virginia Commonwealth University. Faced with witnessing the reoccurrence of generational traumas as a child, Jones' work often takes a personal view on self, childhood memories involved with trauma, and the bond of relationships. Jones’ major bodies ofwork explore heavily in the importance of a relationship between a daughter and her father and the negative effects when there is a lack of a relationship. Jones dives into the personal traumas she has experienced in her childhood with her father being an addict and incarcerated through image making and the use of archival photographs and documents. She creates text and audios of narration, conversations and interviews to help tell her story as well as tell the stories of the ones closest to her.



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