Studio Clips: Meet Sydney Shead

Artist Statement

It is my desire to use film to show beauty and humanity within people groups that have been misrepresented in media. I hope to showcase the telling of stories that connect the importance of unwavering resilience to navigating unfamiliar territory and overcoming trauma or adversities in life.

Using film and storytelling I hope to express the importance of honoring the experiences of others and ridging what I’ve seen in education, family and human service work to the vibrancy, individuality and commonalities among all humans. I believe art is a powerful way to express an idea, gently speak to the truth in all of us and prompt positive change in how we engage with one another.

The Unwavering Project features the true stories of resilience shared through the lens of millennial aged black men. Tales of how confrontation with hardship, failure and triumph helped birth discipline, persistence, creativity and support from Omaha and nearby Nebraska communities are expressed.

I feel responsible to help tell stories of the rich realities of human experiences. I hope to do my part in dispelling stereotypes, misconceptions and misrepresentations of people groups that are proven to be untrue. The Unwavering Project celebrates the universal capacity all human beings have, to be unwavering in our pursuit of a better life for self, family and community

Artist Q&A

  1. Describe your normal studio or workplace.
    I usually work in my bedroom or in creative spaces like Culxr House, The Union for Contemporary Arts or Hi Fi House in Omaha
  2. Describe your makeshift studio or workplace in a time of social distancing or isolation.
    It consists of half of a cardboard box desk, a power strip and whichever technology I’m using at the moment, be it a tablet, monitor and/or laptop. I also usually have a notebook and pen handy or one of my journals. Because I create visual media and film, I can be inspired at anytime to it could also be my couch in front of the television or browsing social media.
  3. How has sharing your work with co-creatives or others shifted?
    It took me a couple of months to adjust to being at home. Once I was able to get my family and job situated at home and give my mind some space to process, I had the capacity to be creative again. My friends and other co-creatives have been so supportive, we’ve all been able to check in and gradually begin sharing, calling and planning with each other again.
  4. What is your favorite non-art oriented activity that inspires you?
    Culture and Family inspire me! I love opportunities to meet, learn and interact with new people that have different experiences than myself. Community activities, events, travel and being able to people watch really inspires me honestly!
  5. How has working in a socially distant environment affected your work?
    Social distancing directly affected my work because so much of my work is inspired by sociology-so I really had to give myself time to adjust to new ways to be social and inspired that did not involve being social physically.
    I had mixed feelings about my project and being creative due to the narratives of black masculinity that continued to REplay-out in the news as we were social distancing. So at a certain point that began to fuel my passion and motivate my creativity.
  6. What is your favorite go-to snack after long hours working on you artistic practice?
    Something delicious and debatably unhealthy like Carne Asada Super Fries from Abelardo’s in Omaha or some Crab Rangoon.
  7. What are one/two of your favorite books that resonate with you and/or your practice?
    Women, Race and Class by Angela Davis and The Bible.
  8. Who are one/two of your favorite artists that inspire you?
    Kanye West and Frida Kahlo.