Will You Walk With Me Once More?
The work Latifah is compelled to create, enables and empowers her to make sense of who she is. Her identity is contoured, labelled and redrawn by the world around her. Due to Covid-19, all countries have been experiencing some form of lockdown, and everyone is suffering the consequences of the pandemic. This is the new normal for us all.
During the past few months Latifah has realised how important it is to disconnect from technology and her phone, and being in nature has been a constant source of healing for the mental wellbeing of her family and herself. She uses paint to express her thoughts and feelings, just as many other artists before her have done in crisis. Her paintings proclaim this, stating she belongs here, this is what she's seen and heard, don’t forget (me). Her way to bear witness to what it means to be human, during these unprecedented times.
The world as we know it, has had to rapidly adapt and evolve, as has the art that she has been making. Fake news slips into social media, and messages constantly ping on her phone, as we all attempt to stay in touch and informed. She wants each painting to express the range of emotions, highs and lows of the past few months. When she takes time in her week to focus specifically on nature, she always find that she's calmer, happier, and that the mental health and wellbeing of her family is improved.
During these times, she has also been thinking about the work of Sylvia Plath, and wanted to use this quote from The Bell Jar as a way of entering into the work she made for this show.
"I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery - air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, This is what it is to be happy." Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
Come Away With Me?
Oil paint and pigment stick, 30 x 30 cm, 2021
Latifah shows us how to paint her unique style of waterscapes in oils
Latifah shows us how to paint her unique style of waterscapes in oils pastels
The work Stranack compels to create, enables and empowers her to make sense of who she is, as her identity is contoured, labelled, shaped and redrawn by the world around her. Due to Covid-19 all countries are experiencing some form of lockdown, and everyone is suffering the consequences of the pandemic. This is the new normal for us all. In these painted collages I reflect on my mixed heritage, and what it means to be a woman in the world today.
The marks that she makes are a way to connect to the past, in the hope that they will help her understand who she's become. She uses paint to express her thoughts and feelings, just as many other artists before her have done in crisis.
Latifah A Stranack
Born to parents from East and West, Latifah has always been fascinated by cultural hybridity and how this has shaped her senses, and the lens through which she experience the world. Within her brush marks, her ancestors faces, rubbed marks and symbolic boats are often highlighted, repeated and reworked.
In pursuit of a fleeting moment, she contextualise and reframes the presence and absence of family members and belongings, her hazy memories kept close and eternally captured on canvas. Partially revealed, Latifah attempts to collapse her present reality and bring the past to life, forever layered in washes of paint, helping her work through subconscious emotions and fears.
Her complex cultural identity is mulled upon frequently, through depictions of the land, the body, water and sea - a space of healing and trauma.
Latifah searches for a lost time, imagining her ancestors walking or sailing alongside her on mysterious dhows, clay and coffee pots metaphors for family, and the colour blue symbolic to many ancient cultures, becomes her timeless symbol for life, rebirth, heaven and earth.
Did you see us bathing in the sunlight?
Pigment stick and oil paint on canvas, 30 x 30 cm, 2021