aGender aims to tell and highlight their individual stories and shed light on harmful gender norms, to not only empower the individual but unite larger communities on a deeply human level.
Sitters will be carefully chosen individuals who don’t fit into the ‘cookie-cutter’ categorisation of gender. This work will highlight the way these people’s gender is deeply intertwined with their identity. These portraits will ask the viewer to examine their own identity and how this is intrinsically different for everyone. This work aims to offer a perspective, one not often seen, from people who have lived experiences of constructing their own gender role in the way that they see fit. By choosing these people, highlighting their stories is also highlighting values of respect and acceptance without oppression or punishment.
By telling the stories of men and women trans gender, gender binary and gender queer, aGender will allow viewers to gain better insight into the global agenda of gender. I feel strongly that our society and culture is well served to challenge negative stereotypes and gender politics in a positive way through the beauty and strength of my images and the genuine stories they portray. The accessibility to the painting softens the polarity of the gender divide and spark a pro-active conversation, giving voice to all.
My painting of Khadija Gbla is assisting her ongoing campaign to raise awareness around Female Genital Mutilation. The painting is acting as a spring board for stimulating new conversations within the community about these issues in a palatable and accessible way. During this crisis, as more people turn to online content, it is an opportunity to keep ongoing issues at the fore, to bridge the isolation divide through the power of imagery.
Donations to the aGender project will assist covering the cost of art supplies, artist wages, travel expenses and administration during production. The project will consist of 10 portraits in total and each will be accompanied by a write-up detailing the story of the sitter and their contribution to ending gender discrimination. Upon completion the collection of work will be exhibited and funds will assist the costs to set up the exhibition including venue hire, hanging systems, marketing, painting transport and installation.