6 Days 6 Women 6 Narratives

In August,2020 I curated a digital project for The Carillon Gallery and Residency on Tarrant County College, Austin, Texas.

Six participating artists answered my questions about narrative:
Renēe Stout (image by Grace Roselli), Samira Abbassy, Rusudan Khizanishivli, Yvette Molina, Ipek Kosova, and Margo Sarkisova.

Three questions asked:

1.What does the word ‘narrative’ mean to you?

2. What is a story you return to year after year?

3. What is your story this year?

Renēe Stout:

1.I consider my work to be narrative because with each piece I’ve been building on a story I’ve been telling for many years, that’s complete with recurring characters, places and situations.

2.A female protagonist who is a seer/Hoodoo woman/healer (with cohorts) and her efforts heal her community physically, mentally and spiritually.

3.The visualization of a parallel universe that’s fiercely protected by a group of female Hoodoo Assassins from the contamination, violence and moral decay of the planet we’re currently inhabiting. 

Renēe Stout, Bellona (Goddess of War), 2018. Acrylic and mixed media on panel, 24 x 24. Photo by the artist.

Samira Abbassy:

  1. I understand narrative to be a set of relationships which are built up in the making of the painting. When there is more than one figure, their relationship becomes the story. Even if there is only one figure, a story emerges about who / what this figure represents. The internal dynamics of the figure becomes the narrative, where the temporal can be incorporated. Narrative is when there is more than one element set against another. 
  2. There’s a fragment of an idea in Dante’s Inferno where it’s said that the figures are ‘contorted according to their sin’. This implies that the figure is the embodiment of its psychological states so that their physical states mirror their psychological dilemmas. This has been the key to my approach to the figure.
  3. The main figure is represented as many selves, or many aspects of itself.This idea first came to me through 14th century paintings of hagiographies where the figure of the saint appears many times in the painting charting his journey in the landscape or on a pilgrimage. I have used this idea of multiples of ‘the Self’ to express psychodynamic realities of the human figure.
Samira Abbassy, Self-censorship,2020.Charcoal on paper,44 x 30 inches. Photo by the artist.

Rusudan Khizanishvili:

  1. Every story has its beginning, but there is no end to the story.We are living just a short and particular chapter of the story; everything out there was written before and we are opening our mouths and letting the words on the waves of the stories. This is the Narrative itself.
  2. I have just realized that there is one main plot I return to year to year: motherhood, mother and child. I can’t compare it to anything. This plot is following me for a log time and I hide myself there like in a shelter.
  3. Well, my ongoing series is about how we can leave the house without leaving the house; how can we exist in the different dimensions at the same time; how can we control the reality and the imaginary world, looking for a solution.
Rusudan Khizanishvili, The Last Room, 2020. Acrylic on canvas, 59 x 59 inches. Photo by the artist.

Yvette Molina:

Ipek Kosova:

1.In my practice, narrative allows me to build a space for sharing stories, healing and communicating. I try to reveal what is absorbed and observed within my body, memories and thoughts.

2.As a child in Izmit, Turkey I experienced an earthquake in 1999 which caused the collapse of many buildings throughout the city, leaving tens of thousands dead and many more homeless. The catastrophic event revealed the instability of the urban environment that surrounded me as well as the government’s failure to care for its citizens through problematic urban planning and its botched response to the disaster. The sudden awareness of this profound danger filled me with sadness and insecurity. The trauma I experienced afterwards has continued to inform and direct my work.

3.Most recently, the Beirut explosion recalled my experience with the unseen dangers of problematic urban planning and governments’ failure to respond to catastrophes and help their people when they are most vulnerable.  

Ipek Kosova, The Ring, 2013.

Margo Sarkisova aka Margo Persimmon:

1.Narrative for myself is a story of concrete person(artist) that reflects their reality, their way of feeling this world. It’s so exiting for me to know more about different worlds and realities of people and see how this it’s interlaced in a very beautiful tracery. 

2.Year after year I’m returning to story that changed my mind. Some time ago I learned different ancient philosophy’s and heard metaphorical story about seeds and gardens. Every person is given a clean piece of land at birth in this world (Life is a garden) and for many lifetimes he creates his own garden on this imaginary territory. This creation occurs through the planting of seeds – every word, intention and deed is a new seed in the garden. And whether fruit trees or weeds will sprout on a plot of land depends only on the person himself. 

3.This year I’m researching the concept of “home” and the roots of a person, which again brings me back to the theme of the garden. My research now is base on this questions : How do we influence at place and history through our lineage and roots?

And what can be generally considered as the roots of a person?

How displacement and migration affects at the life and thoughts of a person? 

Mine results of researching of these questions will be shown at my personal exhibition in Kharkiv (Ukraine) in October 2020.

Margo Sarkisova, Idol/ Version 2, 2019. Collagraphy, gravure on plastic , typography ink on paper  29×42 cm