Artist Statement Submitted 2020
Jewel Ham is interested in exploring untold narratives of the least protected demographic in the nation - the Black woman. Growing up in Charlotte, NC, she was raised by numerous strong, Black females; their presence anchored her upbringing. In watching these figures shape the culture and tradition of their communities, she uses her work as homage to the vulnerable facets of womanhood, while simultaneously capturing its strength and wit. Through manipulation of wordplay, sensuality, & symbolism, her work looks inward, developing seductive portraits that depict figures through a lens of self-sight. Depicting intangible emotional realities hinging on every day existence, chaotic imagery is presented against a backdrop of commonplace. Visualization of these third-person narrations present an intimate view of inner turmoil, creating a voyeuristic relationship between the subject and viewer; exploring emotionality through perspectives and cultural settings familiar to the Black experience.
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