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Ananya Rao-Middleton: Now You See Me
3 July 2019 – 7 July 2019
Now You See Me: Undoing Stereotypes About Women of Colour
Depictions of women of colour in art are often filtered through the white, male gaze. Through her first collection, Ananya challenges hegemonic depictions of women of colour as objects and muses, by situating them as protagonists in playful, fantastical backdrops alongside dinosaurs. In this two part collection, Ananya showcases four watercolour paintings that play with fantasy, colour and nature alongside women of colour doing carefree activities with dinosaurs.
Ananya chose to include dinosaurs in these pieces specifically to create a sense of fantasy and adventure. Since women of colour are often depicted in art as either hyper-sexualised or de-sexualised objects and exotic muses, these pieces look to facilitate a sense of adventure, where the women of colour featured in the paintings are uniquely themselves.
The second part of the collection looks more directly at the ways in which women of colour are fetishized through the white, male gaze. This part of the collection showcases three bold digital portraits of women from different backgrounds to highlight the nuanced histories of fetishes of women of colour from different racial backgrounds, and the real life violent consequences racial fetishes have for those who are fetishized.
Join Ananya at ONCA gallery for the opening of her first solo exhibition at the Launch Event on July 3rd 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
About the artist
Ananya is a 26-year old artist based in London. She started painting seriously in November 2018 whilst being house-bound due to a brain injury. Using painting as a way to heal herself, she has fallen in love with painting women using watercolours. She love experimenting with creating pigmented, vibrant paintings that people do not associate with the effects of watercolour.
Ananya is always looking for the next opportunity to translate political issues that matter to her into art. She primarily paints women of colour, examining different gendered and racialised gazes that often render women of colour as hyper-sexualised muses or de-sexualised subjects in art and media. Her paintings challenge these assumptions by depicting women of colour in deliberately care-free situations and as masters of their own narratives.
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