Here is another post based on the exhibition text panels for Explorations 3: Seven Women Artists, which will be on view from May 31 to August 8, 2015
Born in Jamaica in 1969, Miriam Smith received her education at the Edna Manley College of Visual and Performing Arts, where she attained a Diploma in Textiles. In 1999 she received her MFA degree from the Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton, UK. She lives and works in St Andrew, Jamaica.
About the Work
The mixed media artwork of Miriam Hinds-Smith highlights her masterful manipulation of fibres and textiles and it is striking that she should be the artist in the exhibition who most expressly questions whether her work should be defined as women’s art. Her work also reflects her experience with bookbinding. Some in the form of actual books, her works are often literal and symbolic pages weaving a personal history that highlights life-changing experiences but is also concerned with poverty and other historical and contemporary social injustices. The multi-panelled work Justice Denied…1600 and still Counting, the totem-like Guardian of Souls, and the haunting Thought we Mattered combine to make her installation Requiem of Souls, as the work on display is collectively titled, a reflective experience that stridently challenges the viewer to acknowledge the effects that these unresolved injustices have on our lives.
O’Neil Lawrence, Exhibition Curator
About Women’s Art
“The discussion of women’s art, or rather art made by women, needs to be viewed within a specific context. It requires an understanding of how women artists view themselves and how the controls and politics of the day engage or exclude female practitioners. Social status and relational proximity to these controls allow for particular voices to be heard, which in most instances are predominantly male; as against those who have been muted, predominantly female. However, if art-making is becoming increasingly borderless and ground-breaking, why would we want to prescribe artists to gendered definitions in the first place?”
“I see myself as an artist, not defined by my gender but by my desire to communicate on problematic societal issues as a nurturer, as a daughter, wife and worker. My own art involves experimentation with textile and thread, and although it is linked to tasks which are traditionally deemed “female,” I do not view it as “women’s work.” Such a categorization would be problematic, as it is near impossible to draw the line between men’s and women’s art within our (Jamaican) context. Within the global space that conversation may well be the converse as there is still strong evidence of this divide.”