Turner Carroll Gallery celebrates some of its favorite female artists who speak out about important issues of the day in their work in the show “Can’t Lock Me Up.”
Opening at the gallery on March 29, the exhibit honors the loud and clear expressions of women’s voices.
Among the artists with work in the show are Fatemeh Baigmoradi, Judy Chicago, Jenny Holzer and Ambreen Butt.
A resident of Texas who was born in Lahore, Pakistan, Butt was trained in traditional Indian and Persian miniature painting. She addresses many issues close to her heart through her artwork.
Pieces from her “Say My Name” series are on display. They consist of swirling fragments of paper on tea stained paper that bear the names of children in Pakistan who are casualties of U.S. drone strikes. “I’ve done a lot of research to find the names of drone casualties,” Butt explains. “These casualties have been going on since the Bush administration.
Some of the affected children were as young as two years old. Butt has written the name of a child multiple times on a sheet of paper before tearing it up into tiny pieces and mounting it on paper. Each artwork is dedicated to one particular child.
“I want to give these children their stories,” she says. “Working on this series initially comes from a painful and difficult place and then becomes a meditation for me.”
Turner Carroll Gallery also exhibits pieces from Butt’s “Dirty Pretty” series. This body of work was inspired by a trip that Butt took to Pakistan in 2007.
“I returned to Pakistan, after being away from the country for 12 years, and found a lot of chaos going on,” she recalls. “The lithographs I started creating after I came back to the U.S. juxtapose contemporary images of Pakistan with historical imagery from old manuscripts. They address many issues, including chaos, but in an aesthetically beautiful way.
“I use aesthetics in my work to bring things that are not very beautiful to the forefront,” says Butt. “Aesthetics is a tool I use to present my voice.”