Apr 8th 2022

The Deeply Rooted

@ Woman Made Gallery

2150 S Canalport Ave, 4A-3, Chicago, IL 60608

Opening Friday, April 8th, from 6PM - 9PM

On view through Saturday, May 21st

Woman Made Gallery is thrilled to announce The Deeply Rooted juried by Sundus Abdul Hadi. The term “deeply rooted” is coined by Abdul Hadi in her book, “Take Care of Yourself : The Art and Cultures of Care and Liberation” to describe any person or community rooted in an ancient culture steeped in traditional and Indigenous knowledge that colonization attempted to erase. It is a word that attempts to describe the multiplicity of ethnicities and experiences related to the international Indigenous, Black, Pan-African, Afro-descendent, Arab, Brown, Latinx, South American, and Asian communities.

The exhibit features the artwork of 33 deeply-rooted women and non-binary artists from diverse communities who intimately reflect on their connection to land, ancestry, bodies. These three spaces, liminal, physical and metaphorical, have been too long burdened by the weight of colonialism, plowing through generations of wisdom and knowledge that, despite the attempt at erasure, have returned to the surface bearing fruit.

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In her juror’s statement, Abdul Hadi writes, “Colonial histories causing uprootedness, cultural erasure, or minimizing our urge to lay down roots for fear of unbelongingness, the works in this exhibit affirm boundless imagination in the reclaiming of what many assume to be lost, buried, or burdened. What was left behind or forcefully taken away can illuminate what is still within us, what we continue to carry… both as burdens and weight, and as wisdom and light. Perhaps without the heavy load, the lightness of being would never be sought out. Or without the struggle, the relief wouldn’t be as sweet.

Each work speaks to a different note of the journey of the roots, from the deep, dark underworld, to the moment of inspiration that pierces through, creating light and nourishment for our eyes and hearts. Perhaps, if we put our ears to the ground along that uneven path, we can hear a different version of our history, and bring it forth – for if not for art and its decolonial lens, then we’d only have the official versions of what we’ve been taught we are capable of.
From the seed, to the drop of water, to the grain of rice, the needle and the thread, the weave, the brushstroke, the dream, the constellation, the pixel; each work selected in “The Deeply Rooted” is ancestral knowledge manifested.” – Sundus Abdul Hadi, Tio:tia’ke / Montreal, March 2022

In this exhibition, Abdul Hadi and the artists are connected not just through struggle, but through deeply rooted ancient identities, familiar spirits, and shared experiences of resistance to white supremacy and colonialism. The exhibition reaches into the past, looking at family trees and ancestral stories with more layers – and adds colors to previously black and white storytelling. Adbul Hadi says, “By reflecting on both ancestry and futurity, we will collectively offer new narratives, definitions and representations of what it means to be both ancient and novel in a world on the cusp of change.”

ABOUT THE JUROR: Sundus Abdul Hadi is an artist and writer. Born to Iraqi parents, she was raised and educated in Tiohtià:ke/Montréal, where she earned a BFA in Studio Arts and Art History and a MA in Media Studies. Sundus’ transmedia work is a sensitive reflection on trauma, struggle, and care. She is the author/illustrator of “Shams”, a children’s book about trauma, transformation and healing. Her book titled “Take Care of Your Self: The Art and Cultures of Care and Liberation” (Common Notions, Fall 2020) is about care, curation and community. She is the cofounder of We Are The Medium, an artist collective and culture point.

Abdul Hadi’s work has been exhibited in Palestine, Canada, USA, France, UK and New Zealand. She has been a speaker at Nuqat Kuwait, SADA Iraq, the Nobel Peace Prize Forum, Telfair Museums, the Aga Khan Museum and multiple universities in Turtle Island.

Exhibiting Artists:

asmaa al-issa
Norah Alkharashi
Ayam Yaldo
Alexandra Beaumont
Boisali Biswas
Michele Brody
Carina Chang
Emilia Chang
Mona Cliff
Ivonne Cruz
Pritika Chowdhry
Kiana Honarmand
Reem Farah
KRFO (Kimberly Renee Fulton Orozco)
Elia diane Fushi Bekene
Nicole Godreau Soria
Mona Gazala
Silvia Inés Gonzalez
Jenna Hamed
Mina Katebi
Saaba Lutzeler
Lorimar Matos
Nadine Nashef
Jean Ni
Marcela Adeze Okeke
Shaqui Reed
Archana Shekara
Laramie Shubber
Tricia Lynn Townes
Daisy Trudell-Mills
Grace Wong
Wend Yasen
Veronica Hicks



ARTWORK ACTIVATIONS: Saturday, April 9, 2:30 PM CST; Saturday, May 7, 2:30 PM CST
This exhibition will feature the social practice artwork “Polished | Unpolished” by Archana Shekara. Join WMG on either Saturday for an activation of the work where the general public will eat Ganji, a simple rice dish, prepared by the artist. Through the duration of the simple meal, participants will consider the evolution of polished and unpolished rice in South Asian culture and be asked to share their thoughts on privilege, colorism and socio-economic disparities. Participants may be filmed or will write statements on note cards based on their conversations and experience. The archival elements from the experience will become part of the installation project (as notecards and a video added into the design installation).

Participation is limited to 20, though walkup attendance is welcome and encouraged. Eventbrite registration is recommended to secure a participant spot.

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