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Khadijah Morley - Artist of the Month

Khadijah Morley (She/Her) is a Toronto based artist who is currently pursuing a BFA in Drawing and Painting, and minoring in Printmaking at OCAD University. Morley’s in-depth experience working between ink drawings, relief printing, and intaglio, have allowed her to construct intimate pieces of work that explore the complexities of Black womanhood and provide a voice to her own experiences. Through an autobiographical lens, Morley displays work that illustrates her own questioning of identity, a concept inspired by W.E.B. Du Bois’ theory of double consciousness.

With a calling to her own sense of connection and disconnection, Morley seeks to grapple not only with how others see her, but how she would like to see herself. Black bodies are hyper visualized in North America, yet contradictorily, they are often overlooked. It’s this paradox of identity scrutiny that Morley attempts to dissect and understand through her own experience as a Black woman, while recognizing that the Black experience as a whole is not monolithic.


Insta: @peenutbuttahbabe

𝘋𝘰𝘶𝘣𝘭𝘦 𝘊𝘳𝘰𝘴𝘴, 2018

Etching, Aquatint

8.5 in x 11 in


In some of Khadijah’s older work, you’ll come to witness her distinct line work that separates her from other figurative artists. With the use of intaglio printing, Khadijah was able to return to this stylized approach in a legible way that allowed her to incorporate personal narratives.


For those who are not familiar with this type of printmaking, intaglio printing is the exact opposite of what you would see in a relief printing (such as woodblock or linoleum carvings). With intaglio, the printing is done by collecting ink from within the markings made to the plate.


Aside from Khadijah’s linework, her control of the aquatint in this piece is exemplary of her skill with etchings. Aquatint is a printmaking technique that creates the tonal ranges on the figures skin.



𝘑𝘶𝘴𝘵 𝘓𝘪𝘬𝘦 𝘠𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘔𝘰𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳, 2018

Etching, Aquatint

8 in x 12 in


This self-portrait of Khadijah is scattered amongst itself, unable to be whole. But even amongst this split mind and sense of disconnection, there doesn’t seem to be any imminent duress in her expression.


This framed etching allows an insight into Khadijah’s mind, into the moments of contemplation she has with herself.


“In my personal experience as a Black woman, I constantly feel as if I’m questioning my reality. My work tends to take on that quality, this sort of alternate state of mind or surrealism. Within my work I grapple with not only how others see me, but how I would like to see myself.”



𝘊𝘭𝘰𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘊𝘶𝘳𝘵𝘢𝘪𝘯, 2020

Etching, Aquatint, Soft Ground

8 in x 7.5 in


With curtains framing the print, we’re presented with another window into Khadijah’s experiences. As we watch this embrace between two bodies, we’re suddenly implicated in this experience. The black silhouettes we’ll be seeing are created as a metaphor for Khadijah’s internal and physical self, meaning that this version of herself has spotted us through the print. What is it that we have just stumbled upon?



𝘑𝘶𝘥𝘢𝘴, 2018

Etching, Aquatint

7.5 in x 10 in


Two figures separate from one another in this layered intaglio. One of them rises up and away, its arm limp and pulled down by gravity, as the other remains on the ground.


The lifeless gesture of the transparent body speaks to the unconscious nature of the physical form, deliberately separating the soul from the body. As these two intrinsic parts of the human experience detach, we have to wonder if this is simply nature taking its course, or is this astral projection a means to escape the confinements of this body.



𝘜𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘵𝘭𝘦𝘥, 2020

Linocut

8 in x 11 in


“𝘞𝘩𝘦𝘯 𝘪𝘭𝘭𝘶𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘪𝘯𝘬 𝘰𝘯 𝘱𝘢𝘱𝘦𝘳 𝘐 𝘰𝘧𝘵𝘦𝘯 𝘳𝘦𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘯𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘰𝘭𝘥 𝘩𝘢𝘣𝘪𝘵𝘴. 𝘐’𝘷𝘦 𝘥𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘭𝘰𝘱𝘦𝘥 𝘢 𝘷𝘪𝘴𝘶𝘢𝘭 𝘭𝘢𝘯𝘨𝘶𝘢𝘨𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘴𝘵𝘺𝘭𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘢𝘤𝘤𝘦𝘴𝘴𝘪𝘣𝘭𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘮𝘦. 𝘐 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘭𝘺 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘤𝘦𝘳𝘯𝘦𝘥 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘧𝘪𝘭𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘦𝘮𝘱𝘵𝘺 𝘴𝘱𝘢𝘤𝘦 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘥𝘦𝘵𝘢𝘪𝘭𝘦𝘥 𝘦𝘯𝘷𝘪𝘳𝘰𝘯𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘴. 𝘐 𝘸𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘥 𝘴𝘢𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘢𝘵𝘦 𝘪𝘭𝘭𝘶𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘴 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘴𝘺𝘮𝘣𝘰𝘭𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘨𝘪𝘷𝘦 𝘪𝘯𝘴𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵 𝘵𝘰 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘭 𝘧𝘪𝘨𝘶𝘳𝘦’𝘴 𝘦𝘮𝘰𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘭 𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘵𝘦.


𝘗𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘮𝘢𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘯𝘨𝘦𝘥 𝘮𝘺 𝘶𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘯𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘰𝘧 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘰𝘯 𝘱𝘢𝘱𝘦𝘳. 𝘐𝘵 𝘢𝘭𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘢𝘺 𝘐 𝘱𝘭𝘢𝘯𝘯𝘦𝘥 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘱𝘰𝘴𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘪𝘯𝘤𝘰𝘳𝘱𝘰𝘳𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘦𝘹𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘦. 𝘐𝘯𝘵𝘢𝘨𝘭𝘪𝘰 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘳𝘦𝘭𝘪𝘦𝘧 𝘱𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘥𝘶𝘤𝘦𝘥 𝘴𝘶𝘣𝘵𝘭𝘦 𝘵𝘦𝘹𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘦𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘦𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘐 𝘤𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘥𝘯’𝘵 𝘳𝘦𝘱𝘭𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘵𝘦 𝘣𝘺 𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘥. 𝘞𝘪𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯 𝘱𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘮𝘢𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘐 𝘴𝘪𝘮𝘱𝘭𝘪𝘧𝘺 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘱𝘰𝘴𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘢 𝘮𝘰𝘳𝘦 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘤𝘪𝘴𝘦 𝘯𝘢𝘳𝘳𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘷𝘦 𝘰𝘳 𝘮𝘰𝘰𝘥. 𝘖𝘱𝘱𝘰𝘴𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘥𝘳𝘢𝘸𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘪𝘯𝘬, 𝘐 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘭𝘦𝘴𝘴 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘵𝘳𝘰𝘭 𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘧𝘪𝘯𝘢𝘭 𝘱𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘵 𝘸𝘩𝘪𝘤𝘩 𝘮𝘢𝘬𝘦𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘮𝘦𝘥𝘪𝘶𝘮 𝘮𝘰𝘳𝘦 𝘦𝘹𝘤𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨.”



𝘋𝘶𝘱𝘱𝘺 𝘒𝘯𝘰 𝘞𝘩𝘰 𝘍𝘪 𝘍𝘳𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵𝘦𝘯, 2020

Linocut

8.5 in x 10.5 in

NFS



𝘉𝘶𝘳𝘯𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘉𝘦𝘥, 2020

Linocut

8.5 in x 10.5 in

NFS


As Khadijah previously said, “𝘞𝘪𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯 𝘱𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘮𝘢𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘐 𝘴𝘪𝘮𝘱𝘭𝘪𝘧𝘺 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘱𝘰𝘴𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘢 𝘮𝘰𝘳𝘦 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘤𝘪𝘴𝘦 𝘯𝘢𝘳𝘳𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘷𝘦 𝘰𝘳 𝘮𝘰𝘰𝘥.” With the simplicity of this linocut, Khadijah has displayed a vibrant contrast of danger in a place that we would usually deem safe. What was once a space of comfort and rest, is now restless and turning to ash.



𝘙𝘖𝘖𝘛𝘚: 𝘞𝘏𝘌𝘙𝘌 𝘋𝘖 𝘐 𝘊𝘖𝘔𝘌 𝘍𝘙𝘖𝘔 /𝘞𝘏𝘈𝘛 𝘈𝘔 𝘐 𝘋𝘖𝘐𝘕𝘎 /𝘞𝘏𝘌𝘙𝘌 𝘈𝘔 𝘐 𝘎𝘖𝘐𝘕𝘎, 2017

Ink on paper

(Triptych: right image)

11 in x 14 in


This next piece is only one of three, and is the starting point of a previous approach that Khadijah took for her identity exploration. With embellishments of gold, Khadijah pushes the contrast of her black and white work, teasing some more colour within the red details of the carpet.


“𝘐𝘯 𝘮𝘺 𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘭𝘪𝘦𝘳 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘬𝘴 𝘐 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘴𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘤𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘢 𝘸𝘢𝘺 𝘵𝘰 𝘦𝘹𝘱𝘭𝘰𝘳𝘦 𝘮𝘺 𝘪𝘥𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘵𝘺 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘣𝘦𝘪𝘯𝘨 “𝘴𝘦𝘦𝘯”. 𝘐 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘪𝘯𝘦𝘥 𝘢𝘴 𝘢𝘯 𝘪𝘭𝘭𝘶𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘵𝘰𝘳, 𝘴𝘰 𝘐 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘯𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘻𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘯𝘰𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 “𝘶𝘯𝘪𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘢𝘭”. 𝘜𝘯𝘪𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘢𝘭 𝘣𝘦𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘢𝘶𝘨𝘩𝘵 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘪𝘯𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘵𝘶𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 (𝘶𝘯𝘪𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘪𝘵𝘺) 𝘮𝘦𝘢𝘯𝘵 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘢𝘶𝘥𝘪𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘦𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘥𝘪𝘥 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘦𝘮𝘣𝘭𝘦 𝘮𝘺𝘴𝘦𝘭𝘧.”



𝘙𝘖𝘖𝘛𝘚: 𝘞𝘏𝘌𝘙𝘌 𝘋𝘖 𝘐 𝘊𝘖𝘔𝘌 𝘍𝘙𝘖𝘔 /𝘞𝘏𝘈𝘛 𝘈𝘔 𝘐 𝘋𝘖𝘐𝘕𝘎 /𝘞𝘏𝘌𝘙𝘌 𝘈𝘔 𝘐 𝘎𝘖𝘐𝘕𝘎, 2017

(Triptych: center image)

Ink on paper

11 in x 14 in


The small hints of red in her previous work have now blown up, occupying a large portion of this piece. The center of this triptych really engages with the surrealist themes Khadijah mentioned was prevalent in her practice, and demonstrates the comfort she has in this medium.



ROOTS: WHERE DO I COME FROM / WHAT AM I DOING / WHERE AM I GOING, 2017

(Triptych: left image)

Ink on paper

11 in x 14 in

“𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘵𝘳𝘪𝘱𝘵𝘺𝘤𝘩 ‘𝘙𝘰𝘰𝘵𝘴’ 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘢 𝘳𝘦𝘧𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘗𝘢𝘶𝘭 𝘎𝘢𝘶𝘨𝘶𝘪𝘯’𝘴 𝘱𝘢𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 ‘𝘞𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘋𝘰 𝘞𝘦 𝘊𝘰𝘮𝘦 𝘍𝘳𝘰𝘮? 𝘞𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘈𝘳𝘦 𝘞𝘦? 𝘞𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘈𝘳𝘦 𝘞𝘦 𝘎𝘰𝘪𝘯𝘨’. 𝘔𝘺 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘵𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘯𝘢𝘳𝘳𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘮𝘺 𝘰𝘸𝘯 𝘧𝘳𝘶𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘧𝘦𝘦𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘥𝘪𝘴𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘯𝘦𝘤𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘮𝘺 𝘑𝘢𝘮𝘢𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘯 𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘵𝘢𝘨𝘦. 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘴𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘤𝘩 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘩𝘰𝘮𝘦 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘰𝘯𝘭𝘺 𝘢 𝘱𝘴𝘺𝘤𝘩𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘭 𝘣𝘶𝘵 𝘮𝘦𝘵𝘢𝘱𝘩𝘺𝘴𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘭 𝘭𝘰𝘯𝘨𝘪𝘯𝘨.”


Take a step back and look at the triptych as a whole now. With each piece side by side, you can really appreciate the balance of colour that Khadijah carefully placed through the series.

𝘞𝘩𝘪𝘵𝘦 𝘕𝘰𝘪𝘴𝘦, 2020

Linocut

8 in x 11 in


In the comfort of their home, this figure stands within disarray. Water floods her living room as she stands inside of its destruction. There isn’t panic in her body language, but there seems to be acceptance. She stands still as the water rises, embracing the danger around her.


When talking about her overall practice, Khadijah says:


“𝘐’𝘮 𝘨𝘳𝘢𝘱𝘱𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘢 𝘴𝘦𝘯𝘴𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘢𝘨𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘺 𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘪𝘮𝘢𝘨𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘢 𝘣𝘰𝘥𝘺 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘩𝘢𝘴 𝘣𝘦𝘦𝘯 𝘥𝘪𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘳𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯 𝘸𝘦𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘯 𝘩𝘪𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘳𝘺. 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘴𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘴 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘰𝘳 𝘴𝘱𝘢𝘤𝘦𝘴 (𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘰𝘤𝘶𝘵𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘤𝘶𝘳𝘵𝘢𝘪𝘯 𝘦𝘵𝘤𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨) 𝘪𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘮𝘰𝘴𝘵 𝘩𝘰𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘵 𝘥𝘦𝘱𝘪𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘧𝘦𝘦𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯 𝘮𝘺 𝘣𝘰𝘥𝘺 𝘰𝘧 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘬. 𝘐 𝘤𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘴𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘴 𝘪𝘯 𝘮𝘺 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘴𝘪𝘴 𝘺𝘦𝘢𝘳 𝘪𝘯 𝘶𝘯𝘪𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘪𝘵𝘺. 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘧𝘦𝘦𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘰𝘧 𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘦𝘯𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘪𝘯𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘵𝘶𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘴𝘦𝘦𝘱𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘰 𝘮𝘺 𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘭 𝘭𝘪𝘧𝘦. 𝘐 𝘥𝘦𝘤𝘪𝘥𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘫𝘶𝘴𝘵 𝘥𝘦𝘢𝘭 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘪𝘵 𝘰𝘯 𝘱𝘢𝘱𝘦𝘳 𝘣𝘦𝘤𝘢𝘶𝘴𝘦 𝘪𝘵 𝘴𝘱𝘦𝘢𝘬𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘢 𝘭𝘢𝘳𝘨𝘦𝘳 𝘪𝘴𝘴𝘶𝘦. 𝘈𝘯 𝘪𝘴𝘴𝘶𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘮𝘢𝘯𝘺 𝘮𝘢𝘳𝘨𝘪𝘯𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘻𝘦𝘥 𝘷𝘰𝘪𝘤𝘦𝘴 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘯𝘥 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘪𝘳 𝘥𝘢𝘪𝘭𝘺 𝘭𝘪𝘷𝘦𝘴.”



𝘜𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘵𝘭𝘦𝘥, 2020

Linocut

11 in x 8.5 in


Our perspective has shifted as we now enter the room we were once looking in, but again, no matter where we stand we hold the gaze of this figure during her moments of intimacy.


In this moment, we want to say thank Khadijah for letting us showcase her work + for holding down the fort this entire month!

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