Sequoyah Hilton
Mexican-American / Anglo

Malachite Parasite
acrylic & posca marker, 2022


dimensions: 11" x 16"

Malachite Parasite conveys a state of emotional paralysis between two of the artist’s selves: a self that is stuck in a cycle working a purposeless job, and a past self that experienced creative freedom and inspiration.

The subject is a mirror of Hilton’s internal conflict. It depicts the sense of aimlessness faced after college graduation, that was especially heightened for many during the pandemic. Artists worked to work, stayed inside, and trapped themselves in an unfulfilling cycle of “doing nothing and creating nothing” : a miasma that envelops and glows from within the subject of this painting.

Hilton’s inspiration largely came from the designs and shapes of malachite, which visually felt extractive and parasitic in its swirls and colors: a contradiction of the stone’s metaphysical healing properties.

“I thought it was ironic because it’s said to balance mood swings but it connected to me in a definitely depressive time. I was jealous of how purpose driven I had been in the past.” —S.H.

Feelings of coldness contrast against a pink, sacred heart—a nod to Hilton’s connection with her mother, and the perseverance of who she is while in the grips of a leeching depression.


Sequoyah is a graduate student pursuing a masters in Migration Studies, which she was in part inspired to join by hearing the testimonios of her family; their trials, successes, desires and blended life that transcended borders. For Sequoyah, painting was always a way for her to feel control and pleasure in her reality. She mainly started in the pandemic, where she realized it was one of the only things she could do for hours without ever tiring of it, because it’s hypnotic and cathartic. There are some things we feel and see that words just fail, and so painting quickly became an easier way to make an ugly feeling  something she likes to look at