Happy International Women’s Day! This year’s theme is #breakthebias where celebrating women’s achievements and increasing visibility, while calling out inequality.
The painting shown above titled ‘Forgotten’, is my first work where I began focusing on my culture and women that are a part of that. Most museums and galleries I had visited had no or very few women from my background featured in artwork, let alone as the artist! The overall percentage of female artists that are represented in the top tier galleries and museums, is a very small. Artists of color have also been sparse in that category. Now, imagine how small that percentage is with women of color artists.
‘Forgotten’ was the first step towards a new body of work, and my first self portrait. I hadn’t seen or worn a traditional ‘Dupatta’ (South Asian Scarf) in years, I knew what I wanted to create, and aware of the memories I was tapping into. Creating a completely new body of work, women with my skin tone, traditional fabrics I had grown up with, sharing authentic stories and experiences, I was nervous about how I’d be perceived, and if anybody would relate to it. Some strong female artists at the time were very encouraging and supportive . That gave me even more courage to push forward. ‘Forgotten’ original oil painting was exhibited for the first time in Art Ventures Gallery Fayetteville Arkansas in 2017. The feedback I got from art enthusiasts was amazing. People of different ages, genders, geography, and cultural backgrounds could connect with my work in their own way. This painting sold to a collector in Fayetteville, prints are available. Now in 2022, I am proud to share that I am working through an exciting year, and a lot has been achieved since ‘Forgotten’ in 2017!
In order to break the bias, authentic representation is crucial. A huge thank you to all my collectors, everyone who has attended any of my exhibitions and artist talks, galleries and museums that have welcomed my work, all press that have offered me a platform to share my voice, and everyone that has reached out to offer support. It all makes a huge difference