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Mary Edmonia Lewis was the first #american#womanofcolour to achieve international recognition as a #sculptor . Rather poetically born on Independence Day in 1844 to an Afro-Haitian father and a Mississaugan mother, Lewis was an orphan by the age of 9. At 15 she was one of the first women (and, indeed, person of colour) to go to #oberlinacademy . She hated the experience, being the victim of constant racial abuse there. In 1864 Lewis moved to #boston where her burgeoning artistic talent was recognised by Edward Augustus Brackett, a noted #portraitbust sculptor. It is under Brackett’s supervision that Lewis began to carve #marble busts of #abolitionists and #civilwar heroes. In 1866 she moved to #rome , where she would live for 35 years, becoming a highly-sought after (and stupendously expensive) portrait sculptor. There she would be inspired by the #classical#plasticarts of #antiquity and that language, media and craft would inform her own work. That afflatus is clear to see in Lewis’ wonderful “Forever Free (Morning of Liberty)” from 1867-68 and now in the collection of #howarduniversityartgallery . A muscular man raises his left arm in to the air. His wrist is chained, but that chain does not restrain him from his animated pose. Beneath him, and under his protection, a young woman kneels in prayer. This is Lewis’ ode to the emancipation of #africanamerican slaves after the Civil War. Whilst they remain a liberated couple, the male figure remains bound - a nod to the real status of emancipated slaves at that time. Free, but not really. Note that the male figure is near nude whereas the female figure is fully clothed. His corporeality a signifier of his freedom but also her demure presentation the antithesis of the usually sexualised depictions of African-American women at that time. Note also the somewhat #eurocentric characterisations of the figures. He looks like any Apollonian figure; she looks distinctly European. Perhaps they reflect Lewis’ models’ physiognomies? Perhaps by having white people perform the pain of the black experience, Lewis’ message hit home that little bit harder? #edmonialewis died #otd in 1901 aged 63. #mcwrip#art#artist#womenartists
*EXHIBITION OPENING* 'To Have And Not To Hold'
5 to 26 October 2019
Opening Reception: Friday, 4 October 2019, 7 - 9 pm.
DM us to RSVP your attendance by 27 September 2019
Mulan Gallery presents To Have And Not To Hold, a solo exhibition featuring a series of charcoal and acrylic works by Singapore artist Henry Lee. The exhibition will run from 5 to 26 October 2019.
To Have And Not To Hold comprises a series of works which adapts still-life studies as a narrative form to examine the intimate relationships people have with cherished objects. Through examining various objects found in different parts of the HDB apartment in which he has lived in for more than three decades, Henry enacts imaginary dialogues between the objects to reflect different facets and stages of his life. Through these works, Henry invites the audience to draw upon their memories of home and reflect upon the things that were instrumental in shaping who they are. The title of the show, which is a wordplay on Madonna's titular song, To Have And Not To Hold, makes a poignant observation that much of what we truly cherish in life come in intangible forms. The sense of home and of belonging, our self-identity, our memories and the relationships we build over time are all things that we cherish but cannot be held physically.
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⚫The moon was shining sulkily,
Because she thought the sun
Had got no business to be there
After the day was done
-- "It's very rude of him," she said,
"To come and spoil the fun!" The sea was wet as wet could be,
The sands were dry as dry.
You could not see a cloud, because
No cloud was in the sky:
No birds were flying overhead
-- There were no birds to fly.