Much like the protective green layer around a flower bud, our exhibit, titled Calyx, is a testament to the power of flourishing creativity and blossoming ideas. Together, we envisioned, designed, and created an exhibit that nurtures budding talent and passion. The entire process was an opportunity to explore different aspects and expressions of our own personal identities. Through this exhibition, mostly composed of self-portraits, we explore how, both individually and as a group, we relate to society and its pressures. In juxtaposing strong images, we demonstrate how one can decide to see beauty in the world or run away from it. In sharing the intimate stories and learnings that inspired our portraits, we found many bridges to connect us. Creating this exhibit was an act of love for ourselves and our communities, and, in some cases, a lesson on choosing your perspective on life and offering words of wisdom.
In 2022, I started work on ‘Power in Portraits’, a creative project that uses portraiture to explore different facets of BIPOC, postcolonial, and Third Culture identities. As an art form, portraits demand we consider not only how we see ourselves but also how we wish to represent ourselves to the world. Therefore, power exists in the freedom and ability to control our own representation. The ‘Power in Portraits’ workshops, in partnership with Jamii, provided a space for participants to explore portraits as a tool for self-expression, representation and empowerment. These workshops were a unique opportunity for me, as an artist and educator, to both learn from and nurture the creativity of others and invite them to channel their imagination through my artistic method. The results are striking, shocking, beautiful and, most importantly, they represent the power of collaboration, dialogue, mutual appreciation and respect. Calyx is built around teamwork and the free exchange of ideas and while each portrait represents a unique point of view, the exhibit itself represents our work as a group, a team, a creative collective - a Jamii.
Photo exhibition and unveiling event (Celebrating Cultures) supported by: