Charmaine Watkiss: The Seed Keepers
The Seed Keepers is the first solo exhibition of British artist Charmaine Watkiss, which showcases a new series of paintings incorporating the artist's interests in botany, herbalism, ecology, history, and Afrofuturism. Studying the medicinal and psychological abilities of plants, she personifies the matriarchal pantheon of plant warriors, protecting and promoting knowledge and empowerment across generations.
The exhibition will include a new series of works on paper and will explore the use of full color, a first for the artist. The painting of the woman in the luminous space and her "plant warrior" has a mystical quality that exists outside our linear space-time. Right now, the natural world is at the forefront of most of our imaginations. This show will explore narratives about ancient botanical knowledge and its relationship to women of African descent.
Her practice addresses topics such as diaspora, ritual, tradition, ancestry, and cosmology. In the past, she has explored the uses of blue through research on indigo's long history, including its production in colonial plantations in the Americas and the Caribbean and its sacred use in ancient African cultures, especially in funeral rituals, spiritual beliefs, and West African and Cosmology of ancient Egyptian culture. She connects ancient traditions, knowledge, and our lives - asking what role rituals and their practices play in contemporary experience.