Nandipha Yanta

Handle with care I chose to handle this part of my artistic practice with care as I am speaking about the representation of black women and their bodies. Black women have been subjected to a violent history in terms of how they were represented in the media and in society. The violence dates to a time where black women were devalued due to sexual exploitation during slavery which conditioned people to view them as unworthy as well not having equal rights as men. It is also about the self-care of black women, the idea of a black woman immersed in leisure, relaxing and comfort without having to deal with the daily struggles of misogynoir and homophobia. This is a sensitive concept for me because I am a black woman and a work in progress. Using myself in the paintings is a way to confront the politics surrounding my own identity, my sexuality, issues surrounding self-esteem and seeing myself as worthy enough. The rich texture of these painting conveys how I view black women. I view them as beautiful beings who have pride in themselves, their sexuality, and their bodies. This essentially tells black women to take their power back and reclaim their lives and to choose their own narrative. This body of work is more about self-representation as a black woman and how I would view myself. It is an uncomfortable process and I am unfolding and discovering myself. I am choosing my own narrative in how I would like to be represented. It is a process which allows me to read more into why there is a violence against black women and why they are deemed as angry, loud, feisty, hpersexualised and animalistic. As my body of work evolves so does the intersectionality of black women as I can not only focus on myself because I am surrounded by a community of different beautiful black female bodies. It is important to have different views in art making as it broadens my perspective on life itself.

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