The Awakening by Ashante Blackwood
The Awakening presents visual artworks created by up-and-coming Scarborough artist Ashante Blackwood. The works depict the various stages that women of colour have, and continue to experience, as they learn to overcome and love themselves in a society that has historically prioritized ideals of white beauty. From being broken down to nearly nothing, to building themselves back up, to not only finding their true identity but also learning to love it, this insightful exhibit presents works that tell a story of rebirth—the true Awakening of a melanin goddess.
“Growing up I never felt comfortable or pretty in my own skin or body because of what society had painted as their standards of beauty. For a while I used to wish I was lighter and skinnier because I was surrounded by images and narratives promoting that type of mentality. Then one day in high school, a new guy started at my school who had all the girls lusting after him. Surprisingly he had an interest in me, who at the time had no self-confidence. He appreciated me and was able to see the true beauty in me, and eventually he taught me how to love myself. From then on I’ve learned that confidence is key and that my complexion comes from royalty – it’s the richest. As an artist, I create work that inspires women to feel beautiful and help them know that when you’re different, it can be easy to miss the millions of people who accept you for who you are. All you seem to notice is the one person who doesn’t. I want my works to show people that I’m one of the millions of people that does see your beauty – so shine your light bright till it blinds them.” — Ashante Blackwood, January 2019
February 12 – April 30
The Bluffs Gallery
1859 Kingston Road
Toronto, ON M1N 1T3
February 15, 6–8 PM
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ABOUT THE ARTIST
Ashante Blackwood is a 22-year-old fine artist based in the Scarborough community of Toronto, ON. She studied Visual and Digital Arts at Humber College for two years and now is a freelance artist who is known for putting on and participating in a wide range of art showcases as well as taking part in various arts events all around Canada including TrapxArt, Dirty talk, T.O Uncovered, RAW and many others.
Ashante specializes in Afrocentric portraits and abstract concept art. She describes her style as a fine line between realism and idealism with most of her inspiration coming from Instagram artists and models as she loves to capture the beauty and struggles of her culture through her art. Ashante loves creating pieces that inspire women to feel beautiful and comfortable in their own skin, emphasizing the true meaning of acceptance. Many of her pieces can be seen to shed light on her roots and display royalty among her race.
Ashante’s ultimate goal as an artist is to one day be able to open up her own space for Art, fashion, music and events to showcase Toronto’s hidden, under minded talent – a space where all art forms can come together as one, because art has no limits, so why should she!