A New Exhibition Examines Our Relationship With Identity and Self-Worth

A New Exhibition Examines Our Relationship With Identity and Self-Worth

Words Tori West
Images Elizabeth Gabrielle Lee

Am I making sense?

In 2017, it seems as though young people have been turning more towards spirituality. According to a survey held by the National Science Foundation, 58% of 18–24-year-olds believe astrology has scientific worth to some extent. With a decline in practising religion amongst Millennials, knowledge of the stars could have a deeper meaning — a way to help us understand our feelings of love and self-worth.

In an aim to understand spiritual coping mechanisms, Dazed’s arts culture editor Ashleigh Kane has created Am I Making Sense? an exhibition focusing on our lust for unlocking our individual potential and the power of positive.

Image by Ruth Ossai

In the third of a series of collaborative events of the newly formed Melissa Collective, the exhibition brings together three artists, including Shon Faye, Elizabeth Gabrielle Lee, and Ruth Ossai & Ibrahim Kamara, to explore an affirmation that is personal to them.

Ashleigh explains: “I was drawn to working with each artist because while their output, aesthetics and execution are different, their works are centred by identity. Each fearlessly embraces alternative perspectives informed by their diverse experiences and desires to push representation forward. Whether that’s Shon’s brutally honest, dark humoured, narration of her life as a trans woman, Elizabeth dismantling stereotypes that surround Asian women, or Ruth and Ibrahim giving a voice to how West Africans living in Yorkshire are carving out new meanings of what it means to be British.”

“I really wanted to ensure we had a range of voices included in this show. Identity is a fragile notion to a lot of us and many of us also struggle with the concept of self-love or self-acceptance. I’ve seen first-hand how alternative voices can empower the people who have long been silenced by the mainstream; those struggling with mental health issues, LGBTQ people, and non-white communities, to name a few.”

Melissa presents: ‘Am I Making Sense’ by Ashleigh Kane opens 3 November at Hoxton Arches, London.