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From July 18th to the 21st, anyone coming into F Building would notice the array of artworks displayed right by the entrance, ranging from drawings, photographs, poems and even a miniature sculpture. Looking up, colorful flowers were also hung across the ceiling, making the area undoubtedly very eye-catching for students and visitors alike.
But what’s the special occasion, you may ask?
(Photo by Amara Zahra)
On those specific days, the F Building Atrium had been housing an art
exhibition, and this wonderful event was arranged by one of APU’s project
B*’s, called HERVoice.
*ProjectB is one of APU's initiatives to support independent student activities
HERVoice focuses on spreading awareness on the importance of women empowerment. Ever since December of 2021, the project has been active in holding online webinars and posting content on their Instagram page. Given that a lot of classes have recently reverted to in-person during the Spring 2022 semester, HERVoice took this opportunity to finally hold its first offline event in the form of an art exhibition.
The exhibition was titled “Through HER Eyes: The Beauty and Pain Behind Womanhood”, and it aimed to unpack what womanhood essentially is.
(Left) Through HER Eyes Promotional Poster, (Right) HERVoice Team in front of the exhibition sign
The HERVoice team was responsible for all set-ups related to the exhibition, from coming up with themes and concepts to decorating the venue. They recognized that women in particular face many obstacles and discrimination in society everyday and wanted to somehow bring that into light. However, they also understood that being a woman is not just the hardships they face. Women––and womanhood—encompass many things like their beauty, strength, and care.
Hence, it is why they chose to focus on both negative and positive aspects of womahood, and they believed that this exhibition was a good outlet in which students of APU could tell their own stories.
And of course, what better way to express yourself through art?
The participants of Through HER Eyes were encouraged, through their medium of choice, to convey what womanhood meant to them personally. The prompt was the exhibition title itself––beauty and pain, and participants were free to interpret it in their own way. Applications weren’t limited to women only, as HERVoice wanted it to be an all-inclusive event.
Maria from India was one student who submitted an artwork. In a short interview HERVoice did with her for their Instagram page, Maria said it was “really cool to have an exhibition where pieces were being curated by women for women”.
Maria’s submissions was a series of photographs depicting different women in candid scenarios. The black and white tone added a wonderful touch to the simplicity of these pictures, but at the same time also brought out the various beauty these women possess.
Photographs by Maria Thomas
This series aims to highlight the beaty of the divine feminine form. At its core,my work is attempt to subvert traditional conceptions of a woman/femme-presenting people “should “be.
For generations, society has put women in a box and forced labels onto us to stump us into a specific way of thinking, looking and acting.I hope this series will help you introspect on what it means to be “feminine”while juggling other intersectional labels.
There is no “right”way to express our femininity.
“My work aims to subvert what we would traditionally associate with femininity and what it means to be a woman. Women come in all different shapes and sizes and backgrounds. Shoeboxing what a woman should be does a disservice to the remarkable beauty of women,” Maria explained, when asked to elaborate on her work.
The exhibition was a success overall. HERVoice was able to receive 15 submissions in total, from participants of 8 different nationalities. Though the duration of the exhibition wasn’t that long, HERVoice was able to create an outlet and safe space in which people were free to express themselves and show everyone what it means to be a woman.
Special thanks to: MARIA THOMAS
Find HERVoice at: @HERVoice.APU
Hello! I’m Amara from Indonesia. I enjoy writing and sharing stories. Being a part of SPA has given me the opportunity to meet new and creative people at APU and learn about their interesting experiences. When I’m not busy with schoolwork, I like to watch movies in my free time.