The Seed Keepers

Written by Black Discourse
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Who: Charmaine Watkins

What: The Seed Keepers

Where: Tiwani Contemporary, CROMWELL PLACE, Room 3 & 4, 4 Cromwell Place London SW7 2JE

When: 16 November - 5 December 2021

Via Tiwani Contemporary:

Tiwani Contemporary is pleased to present the first solo exhibition of British artist Charmaine Watkiss at the gallery.

The Seed Keepers (2021) is a new series of drawings that fuse Watkiss' interests in botany, herbalism, ecology, history, and Afrofuturism. Researching the medicinal and psychical capabilities of plants, Watkiss has personified a matrilineal pantheon of plant warriors safeguarding and facilitating cross-generational knowledge and empowerment.

The show consists of a body of entirely new works on paper and explores the use of full colour - a first for Watkiss. The drawings of women in luminal spaces along with her ‘plant warriors’ have a mystical quality which exist outside our linear time and space. The natural world is at the forefront of most of our imaginations right now; and this show explores narratives around ancient plant knowledge and its relationship to women of African descent.

Charmaine Watkiss’ practice addresses themes including diaspora, ritual, tradition, ancestry, and cosmology. In the past, she has explored the usage of blue stemming from her research into the long history of indigo including its production on the plantations of colonial America and Caribbean and sacred use in ancient African cultures, particularly with reference to the funerary rites, spiritual beliefs, and cosmologies of West African and ancient Egyptian cultures. She draws connections between ancient tradition, knowledge, and our lives - asking what role ritual and its practice plays in contemporary experience. 

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The Seed Keepers