DETROIT (WXYZ) — “People are bearing their souls. This is private information that you don’t want to talk about.”
From the inside out of a woman’s thoughts, feelings, and experiences, all the way through their fingertips to create each one-of-a-kind piece that speaks to the soul.
“It’s a metaphor for emotional abuse. This is Laura Lie Bias piece and it speaks to emotional abuse, the abuse she suffered through her father when she was younger. He was an alcoholic.”
Welcome to Womxnhouse Detroit. The new exhibition and artist residency is literally a woman’s house on St. Marys Street near Fenkell where founder and curator Asia Hamilton was raised with her 3 sisters and mother who passed away from COVID last year.
“As a caregiver, I wanted to make my mother as comfortable as possible, and going to these different homes throughout the years I see elders always get these amazing recliner chairs. I got her this chair. This is a dress of my mother’s and so it is called My Momma’s Chair.”
Fourteen incredibly talented women artists had a meeting of the minds and then came up with pieces from the heart to detail their journey through life in America, in raw, unfiltered ways.
“This is just an extension of Fractured, a piece that's on the window. It speaks to the shame and not being able to say anything about the abuse.
“This is called Hanger Monster and again it’s a very interesting piece, as far as competition and repetition of the hangers and this speaks to the SB8 bill that was passed in Texas. She speaks to the Latin side, as well as the American side and she's the hinge.”
“I wanted to turn this house into a artist residency for women artists specifically and Laura Earls, she had an idea to do an exhibit focused on the female experience in American today. Which is kind of like an echo to Judy Chicago's Woman House in 1972. And now we have art in every space of the house speaking to the woman experience.”
Artist Sabrina Nelson took us to her display which is the entire upstairs bathroom.
“The reason I picked the bathroom is because of the idea of healing and how our grandmothers used to heal us. They were the doctors in the family or the medicine women or the shaman.”
“And so, this is the result of thinking about what healing is, what medicine is and to know that you are your own medicine.”
Laura Earle is co-curator and the woman behind the cohesive flow from one piece to the next.
“They took the form from everything from elaborate stair hangings to things on the window to objects within the home. This is my piece. This piece is entitled Legacy and it surrounds the hearth. The idea is, on the mantel, you see photographs of all these beautiful children that are actually the children of the artists involved in Womxnhouse Detroit. So this whole piece is thinking about the environmental legacy we are leaving to our children and wanting us to do better.
“What’s been really exciting has been the neighbors, powerful to see the elders, as well as the children of the neighborhood, come and experience this exhibit and they are all like this is a good thing we are doing in the neighborhood. That’s really where the joy lies.”