Chinwe Russell, the daughter of late Justice Gerald Ibe of Ikenanzizi, Obowo, Imo State, Nigeria is based in the United Kingdom and says:
“My work is inspired by history, all sorts of history. I have a questing mind, … and a rich imagination. I am fascinated by what was before and how it has shaped our present.”
If we only looked to the official history books and texts in terms of learning about how the past and our current world has been shaped, we’d undoubtedly be missing half the picture. It’s no secret that many women’s achievements across cultures and generations have been conveniently erased over time in order to favor a patriarchal narrative that keeps patriarchal standards in place even today.
But through the current wave of feminism and female empowerment, we are seeing an explosion of women’s stories through multiple mediums and platforms. One of those is art, and UK-based artist Chinwe Russell is on a mission to use her talent to share stories of incredible women who have had a hand in impacting the world forever with her exhibit ’20 Historical Women Who Changed The World’.
The collection contains some well-known historical figures seen in a different light such as Marie Curie, Elizabeth the first, Florence Nightingale but most importantly, it also contains many lesser known women whose works continue to shape our daily lives, such as Nwanyeruwa, Wangari Maathai, Stephanie Kwolek, Dr Mary Maynard Daly and Gerty Cori, and many others.
Carefully, but cleverly selected from 100s of possible candidates, spanning from the 1500s to this century, this collection celebrates all that represents strength, courage, perseverance and determination.
Aimed at the general public, this exhibition is ideal for museums and art galleries around the world as well as educational and corporate establishments. Chinwe had planned to showcase the collection in the brand new Doncaster museum and art gallery in England from October to January. But restrictions on public gatherings due to COVID-19 have meant she is waiting until the lockdown restrictions have been lifted. Her aim is to exhibit her artwork in the UK, the USA and across Europe.
In her usual bold and colorful style, the artist seeks to remind us of the powerful powerhouse that women represent around the world.
“I am a huge admirer of women, not from a feminist point of view, but from a sense of acknowledgment of these creations of nature, who in spite of many atrocities committed against them around the world, remain strong and steadfast in order to assure the next generation in perpetuity,” said Chinwe about her work in a statement.
While she is working to connect with various organizations and institutions to display her work down the road, for now Chinwe encourages members of the public to sign up to receive exhibition information in the meantime.
Although many artists and creatives are having to adjust the way their work is shown around the world, we can do our part by highlighting their work, which is what we hope to do in this article. We’ve included a handful of images from Chinwe’s exhibition which definitely got us excited at the thought of more people getting to see these paintings of badass women, and of course getting to know about their stories.
For more info about ’20 Historical Women Who Changed The World’ and to learn about Chinwe’s other exhibitions she is working on, check out her website and register to receive updates about shows in the future.
Culled from GirlTalkHQ
Each piece in Chinwe Russell’s ’20 Historical Women Who Changed The World’ collection of art works is 1.2m x 0.91m, Acrylic on canvas.