Public Displays of Privacy is a group exhibition that explores the complexities of identity, memory and subjectivity in relation to Black Womanhood. Each artist shares their narrative(s) of self discovery through watercolor, oil, photography, and mixed-media. By blurring the lines set in place to demarcate what is kept private and what is for public consumption the artists allow themselves the option to control or release, conceal or reveal, and create or destroy on their own terms.
With a particular focus on hair, the body acts as a site of agency for Nakeya Brown, as her photographs draw attention to the ways beauty standards can reflect politics, cultural memories and racial identities. Khadijah Wilson’s installation physically binds her subjects together using deconstructed material and applies pressure to their communal existence, causing them to literally tug at their freedom. Their strained necks mimic the double burden of race and gender experienced by Black women, while their limited mobility hints at a loss of individual agency.
Using images of family members as her source of inspiration, Adrienne Gaither investigates the social constructs and constraints of familial ties by “merging traditional techniques of painting and digital manipulation.” Danielle Smith’s soft brush strokes portray intimate moments of joy, pain and vulnerability as she distinguishes between reality and perception. This group exhibition blurs the lines set in place to demarcate what is kept private and what is for public consumption and examines how personal and collective experiences shape our existence.