KNOWING OUR PLACE:
A Celebration of Women's Diversity
Kiekie (2021)
Kiekie (2021)

Media: Digital Painting This painting was inspired by the designs of Mele Tonga Tamanilo of Kanumez designs. I was drawn to the way this Tongan designer found a way to fuse contemporary fashion with cultural tradition. The Tongan "Kiekie," is the girdle resembling item around this woman's waist, and is a way to pay homage to ancestral lands.

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Radiance (2020)
Radiance (2020)

Media: Digital Painting Like many cultures affected by colonization, the Herero people have endured great tragedy. they have been the target of genocide and apartheid, yet still remain today. Their clothing is a way to acknowledge this past and showcase their identity. The dress combines elements of the Victorian German missionary clothing with important cultural symbols. Their hats are inspired by cow horns, a symbol of prosperity. Herero are found in Namibia, Angola and Botswana.

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Bhikkhuni (2018)
Bhikkhuni (2018)

Media: Ink on Paper Bhikkhunis are full fledged female monks of the Buddhist religion. Though having existed traditionally for centuries, in Thailand, a law passed in 1928 prohibits women from becoming fully ordained monks. Bhikkhunis are currently seeking the right to be recognized, which has led to some unfortunate hardships and even imprisonment.

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Ainu (2018)
Ainu (2018)

Ink on Paper: The Ainu are the indigenous peoples of northern Japan. Like many indigenous peoples, the Ainu were forced to assimilate in order to survive. As such, there are only a few Ainu descendants today. The women in this society are given a distinctive lip tattoo that signals the transition to womanhood. It is considered a mark of beauty and also serves to ward off evil spirits. Only the women in this society are tattooed.

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Korean Beauty (2018)
Korean Beauty (2018)

Media: Ink on Paper Vitiligo is an ancient condition that has been well documented in history. Unfortunately, many societies related this condition to leprosy. As a result, individuals with vitiligo were often treated as outcasts. I read some information that suggested in Korea people with vitiligo were not stigmatized against, and led normal lives. While I cannot confirm if this is accurate, I wanted to imagine how beautiful a woman with this condition could have looked.

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Haseki Sultan (2018)
Haseki Sultan (2018)

Media: Watercolor on Paper About: When Polish born Roxelana became the first concubine to marry King Suleiman the Magnificent in 1534, she started a movement that lasted 100 years. Talk about trending! Her title, "Haseki Sultan," would be passed on to the many who came after her. These women were not only wives but held active roles within the Ottoman empire. See the Istanbul government website linked below.

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Before the Tignon (2018)
Before the Tignon (2018)

Media: Watercolor on Paper About: In the history of the United States, African American women were often made to feel their hair was inferior. You can find many images of black women with their hair covered in a scarf commonly known as a "Tignon." Mandated by a law passed in 1786 by governor Esteban Rodriguez Miro of Louisiana, the fascinating reason behind this legislation is actually rooted in envy. Read more about this in Samantha Callender's article linked below.

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La Mujer de Los Cigarros (2018)
La Mujer de Los Cigarros (2018)

Media: Watercolor on Paper About: Turns out cigars are not just for "tough guys," after all. Located in the cigar capital of the world are the Cuban cigar women. Dressed in brightly colored garments, ornamented with flowers and jewels; they are the exact opposite of the "machismo," lifestyle cigar smoking has come to be associated with.

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Teddy Girl No.: 3 (2017)
Teddy Girl No.: 3 (2017)

Media: Watercolor on Paper About: These rough and tumble gals ran the streets of London back in the fifties and sixties. Listening to jazz, and later rock n roll, they were a part of a post war rebellion who sought an alternative to the tidy prim housewife. Laura Havlin sums it up best in the link below.

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