Deeply Embedded

Aug 17- Sept 17

Deeply Embedded is an exhibition of photographic works by Prince George’s County artist, Tawny Chatmon. The haunting beauty in these images is a composite of melanin majesty, depicted in regal attire, knowing glances, intense gazes, lush natural hair, gold flecked crowns and ancestral echoes. As we consider notions of belonging, we witness a reinterpretation of black existence and experiences. Visual and literal legacies of erasure are banished, with the vibrant reimagining of what’s embedded in our psyche and ourselves.

 The series explores the familial bonds of black childhood, motherhood and memory,celebrating the ever present clarion call around the value of black lives. Deeply Embeddedfeels like: our families restored, our ancestry traced, our natural hair regarded, our melanin revered and justice being served. Our manifest destiny as people of color is our #mood, and it is exquisitely free of stereotypes and censorship. 

“Embedded by definition is something existing or firmly attached within something or someone under a surface. Deeply Embedded is the title of a series I created during a time where I continued to come across negativity centered around natural black hair & styles. While searching for inspiration, I came across beautiful images of African women titled “Africa Through a Lens” from the National Archives that I felt a deep connection to. I felt they represented a sort of message, a reminder of our grace, beauty and history from our ancestors. “ – Tawny Chatmon

Major themes pursued Chatmon’s work:

The beauty of black childhood | Celebrating maternal, parental and familial bonds through portraiture reminiscent of beloved art works | Celebrating natural hair and hairstyles revered in black communities and culture but  often considered unkempt and unacceptable for the workplace, school systems and by western beauty standards | Mother figures & children as primary subject | The role of the Black mothers & our desire to protect her children and family | Focus on celebrating black beauty | Hair as it relates to culture & identity | Addressing social problems through work

Influences & Inspiration:

Byzantine Art: Spirituality of expression | Penetrating gaze | Regal adornment of the figure | Ornamental elements | Religious Icons | Brilliant Colors | Use of gold, jewel tones | Imagery created with meaningful intention


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Exhibition Opening Deeply Embedded