Tanesha Childs, a senior studio art major with a minor in art history, was accepted to a 10-day residency at the Feminist Art Conference in Toronto, Ontario, in May. The conference invited applications from multidisciplinary artists who focus on social justice issues in their work. Childs, whose concentration is photography, said that she submitted photographs from her two series, Enroute to the Wizard and Hair. Images from her Hair series will be displayed at the conference. Childs received travel support from the Office of the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and the Department of Art and Art History.
Childs used imagery from her life to make satirical statements about cultural stereotypes of African American hair. She says, “People see Afro hair as nappy or dirty, because of its lack of daily washing. I wanted people to find humor instead of shame when people question their natural features.” In her series, Enroute to the Wizard, Childs explains that she is “exploring the dilemma of distraction from knowledge in the black youth. From clothes, shoes and technology, we are halting progression from battles our ancestors have fought to get us to this point.”
Childs is also working on a documentary that explores gender identity. She said that by attending the residency and getting to know the other artists over the ten days, she hopes to get guidance and critical feedback in her work. “It’s a new direction, different from my norm and I feel it’s setting the base to how I should approach my work in my future.”
Photography is a studio concentration in the undergraduate and graduate programs of The University of Alabama’s Department of Art and Art History. For more information about photography, go to https://art.ua.edu/academics/photography/. For information about applying, go here: https://art.ua.edu/about/prospective/ or call us for more information: (205) 348-5967. [s16]
Image credits: (top right) Tanesha Childs, Greasy Hair, from the series, Hair, 2016. (bottom right) Tanesha Childs, Drifting, from the series, Enroute to the Wizard, 2016.