Artists Explore Strength and Struggles of Women Around the World
Women of the World
March 14, 7 p.m.
Takoma Park Community Center
7500 Maple Avenue
Across the centuries in countries spanning the globe, women often have been denigrated and at home. They also are embroiled in political battles over control of their own bodies, but progress is happening as more women are elected to political office and sexual harassment is confronted by the #MeToo movement.
Women of the World, a new group exhibition at the Takoma Park Community Center, explores the inspiring power and ongoing struggles of women around the world. The exhibition, which celebrates Women’s History Month, features artwork by Sobia Ahmad, Maysoon al Gburi, Olivia Tripp Morrow, Elayna Speight and Evans Thorne. The show will be on view until May 8. Born and raised in Pakistan, Ahmad moved to the United States when she was 14 years old, becoming an immigrant straddling two vastly different cultures on opposite sides of the world. Her video installations and mixed-media work grapple with the nuances and complexities of national identity, notions of home, cultural memory and gender issues.
Gburi was born in Iraq and lived through the hardships of multiple wars before moving to the DC area where she is the associate director at Dara Global Arts Gallery. The richness of Mesopotamian history coupled with the dire outcomes of war influence her work. She seeks to reflect compassion for women who struggle to survive the barbarian acts of war, which men often inflict upon women.
Morrow will create a site-specific installation suspended 30 feet in the air from cables in the Takoma Park Community Center atrium. The installation titled Stretch is comprised of clothing and undergarments donated by women, which have been deconstructed into strips of fabric that are intricately woven, wrapped, stretched and layered over armatures of chicken wire. By re-contextualizing the personal histories associated with the clothing, Morrow hopes viewers will be inspired to reflect upon the legacy of the women in their lives and past generations.
As an artist and graphic designer born and raised in Maryland, Speight’s watercolor and metallic ink work is inspired by the strength, vulnerability, royalty, joy and magic of black women. Her recent series titled Her Crown and Glory shows positive images of black women, featuring their various skin tones and natural hair styles (their crowning glory). She wants to instill confidence and self-respect for black women, who often are oppressed or misunderstood.
After growing up in Trinidad, Thorne moved to the DC area to study art. His paintings explore his cultural roots in the Caribbean with scenes of folk dances and portraits of multiple generations of women in families.
This article appeared in the March 2019 edition of the Takoma Park Newsletter. The Takoma Park Newsletter is available for download here.