Primordial Emanations, that which is brought forth follows the womb: a surrender to her luminous blackness

A shared exhibition at 1708 Gallery curated by Mahari Chabwera, featuring work by Adewale Alli, Hampton Boyer, Mahari Chabwera, Asa Jackson, Julianna Sidiqqi, and Nastassja E. Swift 

August 27 – October 31 2020

Primordial Emanations, that which is brought forth follows the womb, a surrender to her luminous blackness emerged from a planned solo exhibition of new paintings and a ritual performance by Chabwera. As Chabwera’s work is continually tracing black and moving forward in a journey of healing, self-revelation, respect and reparations she, with 1708, decided to welcome the power of many with a project that demonstrates blackness as the luminously mutable gift it is. In this shared exhibition, an entrance portal opened to a selection of recent paintings and sculptures by artists who are co-conspiring towards collective well-being, self-actualization, and self-fertilization. Woven into the Contemporary Arts Network  web, 5 of the artists exhibiting are participants in the CAN's First Patron artist residency. Stationed in Newport News, VA, the CAN is a nexus of interconnectivity and development for a strong and harmonious arts community within the global art market.

Primordial Emanations acts as both a Blacktism: a portal black through the beginning of us, and an initiation into the awareness that our inner reality creates our outer experience. This exhibition simulates a reentrance into the elemental womb, we left the placenta too soon.

In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens, We Made Armor at Sediment Gallery 

November 1 2019 – December 8 2019

In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens, We Made Armor is a sanctuary site for Black womxn to honor our ancestors, indulge in our glory, and digest the complexity of Black symbology through installations, photographs, drawings and sculptures. We are giving gratitude to the women who “literally covered the holes in our walls with sunflowers.” (Alice Walker) We are decolonizing our minds, and tuning ourselves to our inner knowing. Like Audre Lorde before us, we are “less willing to accept powerlessness, self-denial, self-effacement, resignation or those other supplied states of being which are not native to us.” We strive towards creative sustenance as self-affirmation. As a self-soothing salve in Richmond, Virginia; a city whose historically predatory practices have never been appropriately acknowledged or amended. On the 400th year anniversary of the first African peoples’ being forced to this land, we take our healing into our own hands. 

 

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In the collection of essays that serve as the namesake for this exhibition, Alice Walker teaches us that our mothers, and grandmothers, and great-grandmothers, “handed on the creative spark, the seed of the flower they themselves never hoped to see.” We’re learning the rhythms of the seasons they knew, and guarding ourselves against the ancient parasites that tried to eviscerate their gardens. We’re taking our protection into our own hands. We’re molding objects and spaces, pulling images and ideas that are non-physical and unrealized from our minds and souls, and making them real. We’re reminding ourselves and our community of who we are. This is our tradition; liberatory magic medicine-making. We give gratitude to the women who planted the seeds of our blooming when the whirlwind blocked both the sun and the rain. This is for us. We are the vindication for immeasurable dreams deferred. 

Exhibiting Artists : Ricky Weaver, Taylor Simone, Nastassja Swift, Christa Pratt, Abigail Lucien, & Mahari Chabwera (curator) 

In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens, We Made Armor was curated by Mahari Chabwera and supported in part by her 2019- 2020 award of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Professional Fellowship.

Evolution of The Sacred Self at Iridian Gallery 

January 10 2020 – February 22 2020

Evolution of the Sacred Self is a 2 person project curated by Dr. Lauranett Lee, Lora Beldon, Mahari Chabwera, and Micah Davis Scott. Participating artists are Micah and Mahari. 

The exhibition includes 9 paintings by Mahari, 1 drawing from her Negromancy series, 2 wall murals and an ofrenda to her ancestors and her guides.

Mahari's Paintings

he burned our drums so we drummed our bodies; a developing dedication to The Vulva at Corner Office 

June 2018

Cruelty is believing (internalizing) that white 

is the only way to describe light. 

 

Cruelty’s not being able to picture a god that’s not white,

not being able to picture a god that’s a woman,

not being able to picture the Spirit as you.  

 

Cruelty is learning at 23 that your Vagina’s not a Vagina.

Instead,

She’s a Vulva. 

 

“Pussy so good I say my own name during sex.” 1

My own body is a mystery to me. 

 

Cruelty is googling “vulva” 

and seeing white

white 

white 

white 

white

white as norm

white as dominant 

white as expectation.

  

In a society so often sexist and racist -

Irreverent to my existence,

“This shit is for us.” 2  

A developing dedication to The Vulva

Origin of Descent at Ross Browne Studio 

November 2017

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In the wake of dense mountains of premeditated misinformation, and biased cannons of western glory and imperialism, the Origin of Descent series serves to remedy that which attempts to forget and misnomer histories that encourage internal abolition. The impetus to know where and how my body originates & the bodies of those I descend from is shaped by three motives – the desire to carve out a space for myself within the larger narrative, a sense of responsibility to preserve the past for those that will come from me, & a desire to myth-make according to my own ethics. These 100 paintings serve as a series of petitions. A path towards more meticulously sharing information and becoming informed.