I am a young artist of Gambian descent based in New York City making Acrylic and Oil paintings that represents black women in a divine way while simultaneously adding aspects of my culture and heritage to the work. Fabric and textiles are highly treasured objects and are indicative of the customs and traditions associated with how I was raised. Due to this I highlight these aspects by adding traditional patterns and textiles onto my work.
Within the Islamic faith, aniconism stems from the forbidden practice of idolatry and also the belief that the creation of beings with a soul is restricted for God. When artmaking, this belief has always been reinforced by my parents who are devout Muslims, consequently impacting how I choose to represent figures in my art, most especially immediate family.
Cropping allows me to stray away from depicting the face and instead to focus on the gestures of the figures and the textiles that are being embodied. The practice of restricting the depiction of faces in art has raised questions and concerns about who I am comfortable depicting and who is off limits. By using fabric, textiles, and patterns I am uniting my desire to represent living figures while simultaneously illustrating forms of art that are appreciated within my religion and culture.
Integrating fabric and patterns in my body of work, while referencing my family, has been revolutionary for both me and how I connect with my family because it is distinctly connected to my identity and ultimately my interactions with my relatives.
Although my family does not view the arts as a respectable field, they appreciate other forms of art that include highly decorative objects with intricate patterning and ornamental motifs. This mode of making bridges the gap between what the appropriate methods of creating art can be from a personal perspective and that of a religious and cultural one.
High School of Art and Design 2016
BFA, State University of New York at Purchase 2020
Gambian American/ Black