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Food for Thought

Patricia Kaersenhout’s textile works Food for Thought (2021) depict women in action. It is the second iteration of the series she produced for the first time in 2018 for the show The Visual Life of Social Affliction.

Portraits of Madeleine Sylvain Bouchereau, Jamaica Kincaid, Andaiye and Hermine Huiswoud are rendered in Kaersenhout’s distinctive mode of digitally and traditionally printed fabrics, both hand- and machine-embroidered, with highlights of fine bead-work and appliqué.

Kaersenhout’s selection of these four important black scholars, journalists, poets, activists hinges on their commonalities: all of Caribbean descent, but influential world-wide; all part of Pan-Africanist, and transnational feminist movements; all active in the 20th century, though largely forgotten or erased from popular memory. Each of these women used her lifetime to fight racism, poverty and general inequality.

Kaersenhout shows these women as heroic figures, based on Sovjet propaganda posters that express the glorification of the proletariat. Each banner is framed with printed cottons that the artist has collected from the African continent. Intricate bead-work highlights their features.

Food for Thought are large textile pieces especially made for a show – Is it possible to be a revolutionary and like flowers – at Nest Den Haag (NL) in 2021.

See left or click here to read an essay by Anna Kesson about the 2018 work which she wrote for Small Axe.

See left or click here to read the review in the May-issue of Artforum of a similar series Objects of Love and Desire, 2019.

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