LaShawnda Crowe Storm with Abegunde:Keeper of My Mothers’ Dreams

LaShawnda Crowe Storm with Maria E. Hamilton Abegunde: Keeper of My Mothers’ Dreams
November 3-January 20

"Keeper of My Mothers’ Dreams" will expand the dialogues began in Crowe Storm’s works "Her Name is Laura Nelson" and "Be/Coming" with newly commissioned pieces. "Her Name Is Laura Nelson" is Quilt I from "The Lynch Quilts Project Series", which explores the history and ramification of racial violence in America, particularly lynching, through the textile tradition of quilting. This quilt explores the intersection of lynching and gender violence. While "Be/Coming" is the first in the series "Masquerade Americana". This piece is rooted in the various masquerade traditions found throughout Africa, particularly Gelede (Gail-lah-day) and Egungun (Ay-goon-goon) of the Yoruba in Nigeria. Gelede celebrates female mystical power, while Egungun honors one’s ancestors. "Masquerade Americana" series addresses historical and contemporary social ills and in/justices rooted in the American context from a Black / African-American lens.

The new pieces, which include a bronze casting of the pelvic bones of an unknown African American woman, other womb-shaped objects that will be placed in an interactive installation, and new writings by poet and priest Abegunde. Crowe Storm’s continued collaboration with Abegunde adds new layers to the experience in words and performances that examine how the abuse, loss, and commodification of one’s womanhood and humanity can be transformed through processes that lead to healing and the rebirthing and re/making of identity. Grounded within the context of community co-creation efforts, each of the pieces exhibited in "Keeper of My Mothers’ Dreams" was developed with the hands of many, like the new womb-shaped objects, which were given to selected artists to complete their transformation. Throughout the run of the exhibition the Indianapolis community will have opportunities to dive deeper into the themes via participation in collaborative aspects of the work and special programming.

About Lashawnda Crowe Storm:
If life were a photo, then Crowe Storm’s artwork would be its negative, seeking to explore those aspects in our society that have been ignored or forgotten such as history, lynching, misogyny, slavery and suicide. Her art is a form of social work and she uses it to open doorways to community dialogue, which is the first step to healing, which in itself leads to wider social change. Through her work, a voice is given to the marginalized people and disregarded aspects of our society.

About Maria E Hamilton Abegunde:
Maria E Hamilton Abegunde is a Memory Keeper, poet, ancestral priest in the Yoruba Orisa tradition, and a Reiki Master. Her research and creative work respectfully approach the Earth and human bodies as sites of memory, and always with the understanding that memory never dies, is subversive, and can be recovered to transform transgenerational trauma and pain into peace and power. She is a visiting lecturer in the department of African American and African Diaspora Studies and the founding director of The Graduate Mentoring Center at Indiana University.

Pictured: LaShawnda Crowe Storm,"Untitled"(2017), bronze casting of pelvic bone
Image courtesy of Polina Osherov and the artist.

This exhibit was made possible by the Simon Family Foundation, Indiana Arts Commission, CICF, the City of Indianapolis, the Arts Council of Indianapolis and Sun King.
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