Updated: Jun 7
I had my artist's book, Self Healing & multimedia installation Aim at text installed at Woman Made Gallery in Chicago, IL for their exhibition, Deeply Rooted. The exhibition was on view April 8 – May 21, 2022, and was juried by Sundus Abdul Hadi. My works were exhibited alongside 32 other women & non-binary artists who shared their relationship to the exhibition theme.
“’The Deeply-Rooted’ is a term I coined to describe any person or community rooted in an ancient culture steeped in traditional and Indigenous knowledge that colonization attempted to erase. It is an empowered word that attempts to describe the multiplicity of ethnicities and experiences related to the international Indigenous, Black, Pan-African, Afro-descendent, Arab, Brown, Latinx, South American, and Asian communities.
The exhibit features the work of 33 deeply-rooted women and non-binary artists from diverse communities who intimately reflect on their connection to land, ancestry, bodies. These three spaces, liminal, physical and metaphorical, have been too long burdened by the weight of colonialism, plowing through generations of wisdom and knowledge that, despite the attempt at erasure, have returned to the surface bearing fruit.
Colonial histories causing uprootedness, cultural erasure, or minimizing our urge to lay down roots for fear of unbelongingness, the works in this exhibit affirm boundless imagination in the reclaiming of what many assume to be lost, buried, or burdened. What was left behind or forcefully taken away can illuminate what is still within us, what we continue to carry… both as burdens and weight, and as wisdom and light. Perhaps without the heavy load, the lightness of being would never be sought out. Or without the struggle, the relief wouldn’t be as sweet.
Each work speaks to a different note of the journey of the roots, from the deep, dark underworld, to the moment of inspiration that pierces through, creating light and nourishment for our eyes and hearts. Perhaps, if we put our ears to the ground along that uneven path, we can hear a different version of our history, and bring it forth – for if not for art and its decolonial lens, then we’d only have the official versions of what we’ve been taught we are capable of.
From the seed, to the drop of water, to the grain of rice, the needle and the thread, the weave, the brushstroke, the dream, the constellation, the pixel; each work selected in “The Deeply Rooted” is ancestral knowledge manifested.”