Habiba Nowrose from Dhaka, Bangladesh photographs from the lens of women’s rights. Her portraits are rich with motifs that signify personality, from bright flowers to colorful garments. But the most identifying aspect of the Nowrose’s subjects are missing — her models’ faces are covered with fabric, leaving only an outline of a figure behind. Her series “Concealed” reflects on women’s personal sacrifices to meet societal expectations. This assimilation leaves the faceless subject anonymous to themselves, and their viewers.
The Triumph of imagination and individuality. These beautiful artist of boulder, colorado have created amazing art to inspire dialogue and model pathways toward a more empowered, positive culture though art.
Street Wise is an art experience driven by social activism. Art as activism or Artivism is a way to heal and restore our sense of personal power as well as create positive change. “Street Wise” hopes to encourage conversations about important issues that affect our culture, using art as a catalyst. Street art has a rich history in activism and social commentary and it is constantly evolving alongside society- Canyon Gallery, Boulder
11.18.19 Hello again… Shadow Spotlight Week, featuring Native Americans in the creative fields. I have found about several Native American artists that are making their mark in the present. Nicholas Galanin As an artist, Nicholas Galanin has utilized a wide range of tools and techniques and tapped into influences from conceptual art, pop culture, indigenous […] […]
A mural created to raise awareness of the importance of sustainable energy has been created in Turin. From Barcelona based Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada. It is a piece which, according to the artist, “alludes to the importance of acting now to assure a positive outcome.” Called ‘Promise’ it features the image of a young girl. She is…
“Painting takes me to another world where I am as free as a bird,” says Judhaiya Baiga. She says this is her way of putting her village on the global map and keeping her traditions alive.
Judhaiya Bai Baiga’s painting recently travelled all the way to a Milan exhibition in Italy and was sold instantly. This was not the first time Baiga’s painting was displayed in an exhibition along with paintings of other talented artists.
A resident of Lorha village in Madhya Pradesh, 80-year-old Baiga who belongs to a tribal community, has the distinction of seeing her art travelling to several art galleries in India and abroad.
“Age or fame has nothing to do with the errors. Perfecting any art is a myth as there is always scope for improvement,” Baiga repeats the sentence from the other end of the phone in case the message was not heard.
Despite being a Diwali week, Baiga is kind enough to oblige for an interview. The excitement to share tales of her village and paintings is clearly evident in her voice.
When asked how she feels about getting international recognition, she says, “It has not changed my life as such. But yes, a change can be seen as more and more women, including my daughter-in-law are taking an interest in painting. Some of these women always wanted to paint but did not have avenues back then.”
How Age Worked In Baiga’s Favour
Baiga belongs to a tribal community heavily dependent on forest resources for their livelihood and some engage in menial jobs. Education, roads and employment are still to reach the interiors of the region.
She lost her husband when she turned 40 and now lives with her two sons. Her only daughter is now married.
Baiga decided to start her second innings with a colourful attitude, literally.
Happy in their world, her community loves to dress in the brightest and most colourful clothes and lead life with the belief that there is no substitute to hard work.
This is probably the reason why Baiga took up painting at 70, an age when most people retire and indulge in rest. But Baiga, who worked in the fields for most of her life, finds relaxation in painting.
“Painting takes me to another world where I am as free as a bird. When I learnt about a teacher who is willing to teach for free in our village, I decided to give painting a try, something I was never interested in. Yet, on the very first day, I found my passion,” says Baiga.
She joined Ashish Swami, a well-known art teacher and an alumnus of Shantiniketan, West Bengal. He runs his studio ‘Jangan Tasweerkhana’ in several tribal belts of Madhya Pradesh to prevent local cultures and traditions from becoming extinct.
“We have such rich cultures across India that are on the verge of dying. Painting is an effective means to save them. By articulating the local practices or customs in paintings, we can also tell other people about local traditions,” Swami tells TBI.
Almost a decade ago, Swami opened a studio in a small room of Baiga’s village. He teaches painting for free and also helps them get fair monetary value through art dealings. Close to 15 local women have been a part of Swami’s classes for the past ten years.
Swami, particularly enjoys teaching people from Lorha village because of their peculiar imagination that colours the canvas.
“Even if they draw something as basic as a tree, their outlook is so different from the rest. They manage to capture innocence in wild animals and serenity in clouds. Their definition of a perfect nature lies in the harmony or co-existence between trees, birds, animals, water bodies and humans,” he explains.
Initially, Baiga and Swami would be happy with whatever amount the painting would be sold at. But soon, they realised the value of the paintings and stood firm on their quotations.
“Paintings are sold on craft and not on how creative they are. We are trying to change that and promote creativity by taking the painters to exhibitions that take place across India. Currently, paintings by Baiga are valued anything between Rs 300 to Rs 8,000,” he says.
While Baiga is content with the money her paintings are making, it is not the motivating factor behind her passion. For Baiga, its her way of putting her village on the global map and keeping traditions alive.
People like Baiga prove that there is no age to learning, and even nature can educate, one only has to be receptive.
Narisha “Nish” Cash, an Aboriginal self-taught female graffiti artist from Adelaide, is challenging the misconception that the world of graffiti and street art is a “man’s world”.
The Jingili and Mudburra artist has been a regular on the street art scene in the South Australian city since the 1990s when at the age of 15 she first started paving street walls with her work. With her tag ‘ISHK’ (the sound of a spray can), her art has evolved over the years to include themes of femininity, colour and form, nature and her aboriginal culture.
In an interview with SBS, she said: “I usually paint strong powerful women with elements of strength and tough qualities through guns, bandanas, and piercings. What appeals to me of the female form is that it’s the giver of life, its Mother Nature, its beauty.
“I’ve always been surrounded by strong women and it’s important for my characters speak that. There’s a lot of strength around being a woman, especially an Aboriginal woman.”
After becoming a mother, Narisha Cash saw the opportunity to channel her creative practices into a career. She also used her art as a form of healing to overcome obstacles she encountered as a teen and young woman growing up in Adelaide.
She said: “When I started out doing graff there wasn’t a lot of females out there. I’d never thought I’d make a living out of it.”
Inspired by hip hop and breakdancing culture also, it was the artist’s foray into grafitti that opened her up to delving into breakdancing, DJing and MCing.
A well respected and maternal figure in communities across Australia, Narisha Cash also works as Community Arts and Youth Engagement Officer at Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute. She shares her knowledge as an artist with youth groups and engages them through art workshops, developing and creating public art murals and opportunities for emerging artists and young people at risk.
Taking graffiti art in the context of the coded language of the streets, the Aboriginal artist, with her unique and feminine style of aerosol art, relates her practice to her ancestors creating art work – storytelling, culture and symbolism – to communicate through their natural surroundings.
Narisha Cash believes that grafitti has the ability to connect young people, especially indigenous youth who feel disconnected to culture, in a way that inspires, empowers and educates.
She told SBS: “It gives them something to do that’s positive, rather than turning to grog (alcohol) or drugs, enabling kids to turn to music, dance, painting.
“In our culture, we have the dance, music and arts so it’s important for young people to get themselves out there and be that next generation to get out there and carry that positive torch on and be positive with their outlet.
“I think it’s important for young people to have a variety of ways to express themselves, be it creating public art or transporting spaces into something beautiful.
“I want kids to get an inspiration to get a career in the artistic field and follow my footsteps…I think it’s important for youth to see Aboriginal people doing good things.”
It’s nearly impossible to visit Tunisia without noticing the beautiful doors. They’re everywhere. I often found myself lost in an ancient medina only to look at my camera roll and realize I’d spent the last 30 minutes taking pictures of doors.
In Tunisia, doors are symbolic reflecting the fortunes and happiness of the families living inside. They are generally built of palm wood reinforced with sheet metal. They are decorated with black studded nails to create complex geometric patterns. Occasionally some doors come with more floral patterns owing to the European influence.
When I visited Tunisia, I was just blown away by these doors. They’re so beautiful, and every city I visited tended to have its own unique style and color. Most doors are blue, but I saw yellow, turquoise, red, and white.
Some of the most common symbols on the doors are the crescent star, minarets flowers, and fir trees. Some of the doors have large archways allowing for a person to enter on a horse without dismounting.
Many will claim that the best doors are in Sidi Bou Said – the Santorini-like coastal town just outside Tunis – but I found that beautiful doors are located throughout the country. You just need to wander down the right side street to find the real treasures.
Most of the doors have two knockers – one for the men and one for the women. The ones on the left are used by the women, and the ones on the right are used by the men.
Flower flashes have been bringing some much needed colour, natural life and joy to the concrete jungle of New York, transforming trash cans into larger-than-life flower vases and embellishing the subway system.
The beautiful flower arrangements come courtesy of floral designer Lewis Miller and his team who create what they call “Flower Flashes” very early in the morning, which they aim to get finished before the daily stream of commuters hits the streets.
In addition to repurposing trash cans as flower vases, Lewis Miller Design have also used flowers to decorate a public phone booth with an abundant flow of blooms making their way on to the street.
Lewis Miller came up with the concept of flower flashes to “create an emotional response through flowers” and to “gift the people of New York the same experience he gives his paying clients”. All of the blooms used in the installations are repurposed from his company’s events. Passers-by are encouraged to admire the display and take a flower if they desire.
Queen of the Curve,” the late architect will be remembered for her bold, fluid designs. She is one of my favorite women in architecture.
I almost did step into the world of architecture. I had got an opportunity to spend a week in Columbia University to see if architecture was something I would be interested in. But it wasn’t for me. I have always been fascinated with creation and creating things. I thought at some point chemistry was something that will help me create to what I wanted to create. Loved equations, experiments, science. But then even that didn’t move my soul. And I finally ended up with textiles and art my soul and passion. Architecture and textiles have a lot in common. One of them being both are 3 dimensional. The love for architecture never left me as the architect of my life lived within me. Hence, I became the architect of my own life. ・・・ “Up to even twenty years ago people did not anymore believe in what I always call the fantastic, they did not think that world is possible – some people still don’t think it’s possible – and, it is!” Zaha Hadid