Nikaiya Lawson


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Do you remember as a kid being told you'll understand when you're older? But what does it mean to understand? After the shock of lockdown and eventual lack of things to do to distract myself from what seemed like the end of the world, I started to think very heavily about my life. I was entering adulthood away from my friends and family. I felt trapped in the four walls of my tiny apartment. When I graduated high school I was ready to run away from my past but it seemed like the world stopped just for it to find me again. In hindsight, quarantine was a wake up call for me to stop running, stop denying, stop being oblivious, and try to understand. I began my journey towards enlightenment. In a world that seems so bleak, enlightenment felt like a century old scam. But with it I am slowly finding peace.

Apis is the primordial bull in Egyptian culture. He is the first being to exist and represents humanity. The search for enlightenment is the plight of Apis, as Apep, the adversarial snake, tries everything within his power to dismay Apis' journey. There's a point where most of us feel lost, or are lost and don't realize it. I noticed I was surrounding myself with superficial happiness and was allowing myself to be consumed by things I simply couldn't control. Quarantine pushed me to find a solution to the void I felt society was leaving in me. I started taking time to tune out from the world and discover what happiness I could find outside of consumerism. I've found the path to enlightenment and though it may be decades long, I'm excited to start the journey.


Oil-based monotype on printmaking paper