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  • Jennifer Whitten

Dating Myself

Updated: Mar 30, 2020

Julia Cameron in The Artist's Way champions writing morning pages and taking yourself on solo artists dates, two habits that have supported my art practice for many years. Last week's artist date was a road trip to the Dayton Art Institute to see their special summer exhibit, Ubuhle Women: Beadwork and the Art of Independence. Ubuhle means "beauty" in the Xhosa and Zulu languages. The Ubuhle Women are an artists' community in rural South Africa and the Dayton Art Institute is the first venue for their powerful collection of over 31 large beaded panels.

Signage, Dayton Art Institute

In a separate upstairs gallery was the stunner. The African Crucifixion was created on commission by an Anglican cathedral by seven of the Ubuhle Women artists working on its components for a full year. The work's scale is a staggering and humbling fifteen feet high and twenty-three feet wide. These pictures only begin to do justice to the installation's magnificence; they can't capture the increased heart rate or slowness of the breath.

I am so very grateful to have experienced this piece in person.

Detail, The African Crucifixion

The African Crucifixion
The African Crucifixion

Detail, The African Crucifixion

"Take me to church..." ~Hozier

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