Ornament and Narrative Women Artists of Eastern Diasporas Artist Lecture with Siona Benjamin

Lilith in the New World (detail), 2007, Mixed media, 144 x 120 x 48 in.,
Courtesy of Flomenhaft Gallery, New York

Artist lecture is to take place Thursday November 15th, 4:00 p.m. reception to follow at The Stedman Gallery.

The painter Siona Benjamin, who resides in New Jersey, will discuss the ideas animating her work as well as how her cultural heritage has influenced her practice. “I am an artist originally from Bombay, India, of Bene Israel Jewish descent. My work reflects my background and the transition between my old and new worlds.” Her work in Ornament and Narrative features the installation Lilith and paintings from her recent series Improvisation that draw on traditional images, cultural references and styles from her Indian-Jewish heritage, transformed through her own unique, contemporary pop cultural sensibility. The work synthesizes seemingly disparate elements from her rich multi-cultural background, and elements of both her old and new worlds.

Ornament and Narrative: Women Artists of Eastern Diasporas features the work of Roya Akhavan, Najla Arafa, Siona Benjamin, Lalla Essaydi, Sissi Farassat, Naomi Safran-Hon, Soody Sharifi, Mitra Tabrizian and Shahar Yahalom, artists originally from countries stretching from Morocco to India. Within this vast region, indigenous and local cultures have developed that distinguish these societies from their neighbors. None of them is immune or impervious to the pressures of modern transformations—the Arab Spring being the most recent modernizing wave engulfing parts of this world. The Stedman Gallery at The Rutgers-Camden Center for the Arts is presenting this exhibition until December 15, 2012.







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