My recent works have been a method of processing a traumatic history of sexual abuse. The designs included in Stoned Oasis are a reflection of the ways that I’ve learned to view ownership over my body as a woman. Months after realizing that I was raised in an Islamic cult, I was raped by my first boyfriend. That experience started the process of uncovering repressed memories of childhood sexual abuse.
Since then I’ve struggled to find what body ownership means when it can be taken from you so easily. Whether through rape, a controlling community, catcalls, or insults; countless women have experienced what it feels like to have someone “own” us through our bodies. In my experience, the most impactful moments that affected my connection to body ownership have been related to sexual expression and nudity. To me, reclaiming a woman’s power begins with reviewing how we define beauty and desirability, while completely separating it from the male perspective. The brand is meant to have women order bowls that match their exact body type. To me, these smoking bowls allow women to literally reclaim ownership over our bodies while celebrating them as gorgeous and diverse vessels for us to use in ways that feel good to us. There’s something that’s uniquely gorgeous in ceramics that allows me to emphasize that a woman’s body is inherently beautiful in all varieties.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Sajidah Fulani is a ceramicist based in Richmond, VA. She earned her Bachelor’s in Visual Art from Bridgewater College in 2020, and is known for soft realism and abstracting the human form. After graduating and participating in the senior artist exhibition, Square One, Sajidah opened her tobacco pipe manufacturing business titled Stoned Oasis.
While her work is stylistically inspired by the limitless nature of ceramic clay, her narratives are drawn from unpacking trauma and understanding her strikingly unusual life story.
“Before realizing I was raised in a cult, choosing to wear hijab and waiting until marriage to have sex was empowering. It was the way that I owned my body, especially while being the only hijabi at my college for 4 years. Sex was sacred, and waiting made me feel protected and closer to God. Learning that my reasons for practicing came from abuse, I stopped covering and felt the same power in that because it was my choice. Having sex for the first time was a harder choice, but I still felt power in freely experiencing my body in a new way. My 3rd experience with “sex” was rape and suddenly my body which had always been a source of power and ownership for me belonged to someone else. I felt like I didn’t exist, I felt less than human, I felt like a fleshlight, and that my mind and humanity didn’t matter. I felt like a physical item to be used how he determined, completely at his will.”
© Sajidah Fulani