The exhibition, Blood Memory is a body of Muhammad Naquee’s works currently on display at The Frame Shop’s Bridgeport location (3520 S. Morgan St). The title of the exhibition derives from the approximately 60” x 60” painting, titled “Blood Memory Reflection”. A horizontal splash of muted red visually divides the canvas into a somewhat mirrored design. A line of simplified figures stand above the “river of blood” with similar figures reflected below the river.
Naquee shared during our conversation at the opening reception that the red is a symbolic reference to blood as a connecting force among people, and that the reflected figures portray the idea that individuals share similar experiences. He continued with the comment that the figures below the river of blood can also be seen as reflections of our selves. Naquee’s reference to blood as a connecting force is akin to the concept of blood memory, which refers to the idea of an ancestral connection to certain traditions of thought and behavior carried in our genes.
When asked about the overall content of the exhibit, Naquee described his work as collectively about life onto canvas — the content comes from the energy of his daily experiences, dreams, and feelings. The exhibit consists of approximately 22 paintings. An additional touch to the exhibit is the suspended display of the artist’s painted ornaments. Muhammad Naquee’s Blood Memory exhibition is January 20 – February 10, 2017.
Seeing, imagining, inventing, and thinking! These are at least four valuable learning tools taught in visual arts classrooms according to Ellen Winner and Lois Hetland. Several years ago, Winner and Hetland wrote an article, Art for Our Sake: School Art Classes Matter More Than Ever—But Not for Reasons You Think. http://archive.boston.com/news/globe/ideas/articles/2007/09/02/art_for_our_sake/?page=3
The authors suggest that we need arts in schools to introduce students to aesthetic appreciation, and to teach ways of seeing, imagining, inventing, and thinking. These learned lessons of art help students to see new patterns, learn from mistakes, and how to envision solutions. Winner and Hetland spent an academic year studying five visual arts classrooms in two Boston area schools. Based on their study of these art classes, they discovered that arts programs teach a specific set of thinking skills not often addressed elsewhere in the curriculum. In addition to learning art techniques, students were taught mental habits, which the authors identified as eight studio habits of mind. These habits include observing, envisioning, innovation, persistence, expression, and reflection. Think back to your art classroom experience – how did you make use of observing, envisioning, innovation, persistence, expression, and reflective self-evaluation? If, as suggested that these habits of mind are also valuable learning tools outside of the classroom, how are you using them in your personal and professional lives? Consider the following ideas related to three of the habits:
Observing: See what is around you that is collectable. What do you like?
Envisioning: Imagine newly collected framed piece(s) on your wall. How will your home gallery look if you added a new work? Took a piece away? How can you rearrange pieces?
Innovation: Experiment and explore possibilities.
Overall in your daily lives, consider how you can use the learned lessons of art to see new patterns, learn from mistakes, and envision solutions.