Nourish: Storytelling with Saris
Exhibition Dates: September 10-November 4, 2023
Opening Reception with Poetry Slam: September 10 from 4-6 pm
Artist Talk: October 21 from 2-3 pm
Gallery Hours: Wednesdays 2-6pm + Saturdays 12 noon – 4pm
Nourish: Storytelling with Saris is an installation of video, drawings, poems, saris, and kanthas inspired by plants and herbs. Touching the soil and growing food are grounding and nourishing. For the last two years, Bangladeshi-American artist Monica Jahan Bose and DC participants in her Storytelling with Saris project have been connecting with the soil and Earth and food justice issues by nurturing plants on windowsills and planting neighborhood vegetable gardens. This year they planted and harvested in the garden at The Nicholson Project. Bose led a series of planting workshops that included poetry and art inspired by soil and plants. Using performance, sari art, writing, and film, Storytelling with Saris, which commenced in 2012, links DC residents with Bangladeshi coastal women farmers in solidarity to address climate and food injustice.
The opening reception is from 4-6 pm on September 10 and will include a poetry slam at 5 pm. Poets include Sonja Berry, Sherri Gales, Lala Forbes, Rashika Johnson, Philip Mecham, Marjorie Thomas, Lia Totty, Demetria Willis, and others. ASL will be provided. There will be a concurrent opening of an exhibition by Stephanie J. Williams.
Monica Jahan Bose bio: Monica Jahan Bose is a Bangladeshi-American artist and climate activist whose work spans painting, printmaking, film, performance, and public art. Her socially engaged work highlights the intersection of climate, racial, gender, and economic injustice through co-created workshops, art actions, and temporary installations and performances. Bose uses the sari — a precolonial 18-foot-long unstitched garment that is always recycled and never discarded — to represent women’s lives and the cycle of life on our planet. She has exhibited her work extensively in the US and internationally (20 solo shows, numerous group exhibitions, and more than 25 performances) including solo exhibitions at the Bangladesh National Museum and MACRO Museum of Contemporary Art Rome. Her ongoing collaborative project STORYTELLING WITH SARIS with women farmers from her ancestral island village has travelled to 10 states and seven countries and engaged thousands of people. Her work has appeared in the Miami Herald, the Washington Post, Art Asia Pacific, the Milwaukee Sentinel, the Honolulu Star Advertiser, the Japan Times, and all major newspapers in Bangladesh. She has a BA in the Practice of Art (Painting) from Wesleyan University, a post-graduate Diploma in Art from Santiniketan, India, and a JD from Columbia Law School.
This project was supported by the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities.