Please join us for the opening of Ireashia Monet’s “The Pearls My Mother Gave Me”
From the artist: “‘the pearls my mother gave me’ is an ongoing exploration of intergenerational trauma, the residual effects of abuse in the lives of the women in my family and my personal fight toward radical healing and self-love. the pearl, a gem associated with femininity and softness, symbolizes both the spiritual gifts — strength, resilience, faith — as well as the trauma inherited from my foremothers. the trauma my mother and grandmothers experienced has traces in my life in ways that go beyond the physical and agitates the spiritual. trauma started at home. i grew up in an environment where fragile, toxic masculinity and codependent love was normalized through abusive behaviors and patterns. i use my camera to explore the long-term psychological and physical effects trauma has on the body, mind and spirit as well as the ways in which my foremothers have healed from it.
photographed mostly in trenton, sc—the only motherland i know—to reconnect with black southern life and my ancestral origins. i combine photo, video, and audio to create an oral and visual documentation of the healing properties of the rural south and the process of understanding my maternal family history. in doing so, i actively preserve what little i still have through photographs, video, and oral history to trace the ancestral blood memory which binds me to my ancestors. this memory is revealed through spiritual experiences, love, and an inherent fight to survive. the result is a raw and honest body of work that simultaneously celebrates and examines the complexity of motherhood, black queerness, and an intrinsic fight to be free.”
About the artist:
ireashia monét is a chicago-based photographer, multimedia artist, and emerging filmmaker with more than three years of experience in the media making industry. when ireashia picked up the camera for the first time, self-portraiture provided space to explore how their body, identity, and self was reflected through the camera. photography shifted from being a static medium into a tool for creative visibility and critical representation. in their work, ireashia continues to use the camera as a weapon against erasure, silence, and invisibility of marginalized communities and stories. they combine participatory media making, auto-ethnography, and collaborative co-authorship as methods of excavation and exploration of black queer narratives in order to cultivate ethically-driven and socially-conscientious creative work. since 2013, ireashia has worked for publications such as frank magazine, the Chicago Reader, and crosstalk blog. in 2015, ireashia founded drala magazine, an online publication uplifting the work of emerging creatives and artists in chicago. she has performed in QUEER, ILL + OKAY, a group showcase in which she used spoken word to articulate the challenges of living with chronic and invisible illnesses. ireashia’s photographs and films have been screened and exhibited in spaces such as amfm, Collected Voices: Chicago’s Ethnographic Film Festival, and the Stony Island Arts Bank.
About the space:
Hume Chicago is an artist-led, volunteer-run project space focused on creating space for, providing resources to, and elevating other emerging & traditionally underrepresented artists. Hume aims to serve the Humboldt Park and Logan Square communities through dynamic, accessible arts programming. We strive to foster an inclusive, creative environment in which emerging Chicago artists and their neighbors can commune and engage.
Hume maintains an open call for month-long exhibitions, workshops, and other creative projects proposed by emerging artists traditionally underrepresented in commercial galleries.