Arts Galleries

Our Ecology: Shifting Our Gaze Inward

Rest Queen. Bevelyn Afor Ukah, artist

Pink Dog Creative, in Asheville’s River Arts District, presents Our Ecology: Shifting Our Gaze Inward, an exhibition by Bevelyn Afor Ukah, opening Friday, September 30, and running through October 30. A reception takes place Saturday, October 22, at 7 p.m., followed by an artist talk at 8 p.m.

Yoniverse Vulva Rising. Bevelyn Afor Ukah, artist

“Bevelyn’s work touches on issues that are omnipresent but rarely discussed: the intersection of race, misogyny, self-doubt and self-respect,” says Pink Dog Creative co-founder Hedy Fischer. “Her investigation will, hopefully, speak to us all—those who have doubts and those who cast them.”

Ukah is a mixed media artist born and raised in Atlanta, Ga. within a multicultural Black, Nigerian-American family. She has worked for years in collaboration with communities across NC, co-creating learning spaces to advocate for food and environmental justice. She began her artistic practice in 2019 and has since built on it through her exploration of using new mediums to tell increasingly dynamic stories.

For this exhibit, Ukah prompted herself to look into a mirror to fight through the negative stories that were floating in her head. She was particularly inspired by stories and parables from her African American and Nigerian ancestry and by Black women who have blazed pathways of expression. Reflections on Saartjie Baartman’s life also inspired many of the works.

“My goal in this exhibit is to practice flipping violent narratives and acknowledging the magic that lives within our ecological selves,” says Ukah. ”In my belief, with a bit of collaboration with our ancestors, we have everything that we need to create our own liberation. With that, we require healing, we require rest, we require acknowledgement and, importantly, we require love.”

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