Friday, October 31, 2008
By Emaan at 6:25 PM
So BBC put a piece up on air regarding this emerging artist, Sarah Maple. The girl belongs to a mixed background (British/Kenyan), and has created a handful of controversial art-pieces that have led her to receiving death threats. The art gallery she was showcasing at, SaLon, was attacked with a stone thrown at it's window. While talking to an Iraqi female artist, Suad Al-Attar, BBC anchor asked if any artist is subject to death threats. Instead of answering the posed question, Al-Attar went onto voicing her criticism of Sarah, of how bad her artwork in fact is, and how she is after nothing but fame.
Ejaz Aslam of the Muslim Cultural Center, Gravesend, also criticised Sarah for putting up work that is of a highly offensive nature. He specifically mention the piece where a woman in hijab is nursing a piglet, and the two objects are in an obvious contextual contrast.
When I first saw Sarah's work, honestly, I was a little taken aback. I was super excited for her brutality, and her strong images. But at second instance I find myself thinking, she's trying too hard. Then I find myself jumping up and down and applauding her for her big-mouth work. But then I think rationally, and I really feel, her images are not really a representation of the message she is trying to put across. They aren't helping with bridging any differences. There is no peace hidden in them, not even sarcastically. The subject matter is entirely different to what she thinks it is. It really just seems like an identity crisis. She doesn't know what to do, which side to be at, what is acceptable, and what isn't - and this is something many children may go through. I'm not Kenyan, I don't know how difficult is her life in comparison to a British Pakistani. I am also not mixed, but I know a few kids. Mostly they turn out to be respectful and intelligent people. So yeah. Sarah does need some thinking to do as to whether what is it that is really bothering her, and what is she really trying to say.