Angela A. McElwain is an artist, writer and teacher whose studio is in Chicago. Her sculptures, which she refers to as constructs, make use of reclaimed objects which are reimagined then integrated into dynamic and poignant work. Each piece conveys a closed and isolated environment which examines loss of innocence, freedom or articulates a sense of personal, environmental, social, or political disquiet especially with reference to womxn’s experience. Ms. McElwain’s drawings investigate these same issues, i.e., freedom, power, oppression, the cultural expectations, etc., of womxn while highlighting her artistic skill in rendering form.
“I Am Fit…” is a construct symbolizing the practice of FGM as is represented by the rose and dangling rose bud, externalized and sewn shut a needle still attached to the thread. A mirror, mounted inside and behind the rose, makes the viewer both a witness and voyeur. Two arms are painted on the outside of the construct, one hand dangles helplessly, the other forms a tentative fist. On the back of the framed section is a poem by Islamic poet Wallada bint al-Mustakfi (1001-1080 CE) which reads, “I am fit for high positions by God and am going my way with pride.”
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Angela A. McElwain has been a working artist in Chicago for years. Her media includes paintings, drawings, sculptures, and, recently, graphic novels. Angela’s work has been exhibited nationally and has won many awards. She was an Artist in Residence in Chicago, painting a series of murals for the Logan Square Library, and worked on an outside mural in Lincoln Square. She has taught drawing at College of DuPage and in Minneapolis, MN in the after-school art program. In addition, Angela writes stories and poetry. She is an enthusiastic proponent of equality and freedom for all people.
© Angela A. McElwain