Ramadan Mubarak from Nsenga Knight’s Studio!

Ramadan Mubarak!

For weeks I’ve been looking forward to fasting and reflecting more deeply this Ramadan, and here we are. We need a Ramadan!

text painting on vegetable parchment paper. the black linear text reads: searching for water. the stencil which was used by the artist to make the painting is on the bottom right corner of the artwork. it lays on a table in the artist's studio space
Nsenga Knight 2020, Tawaf/ Sa’y: Searching, Oil and Gesso on Vegetable Parchment paper (Detail from artist’s studio)

I recently watched a news report that stated that right now, about 2 Billion people on this planet are detaching from food and drink from sunrise to sunset to observe the commandment in the Holy Quran to fast in Ramadan – the 9th lunar month, in order to become more God-conscious. I am one of them. I like to eat, so there’s no other reason that I would totally refrain from food or drink except to take advantage of this great opportunity to become more fully aware. The goal of fasting itself is not to experience hunger and thirst; and there are even many Muslims who cannot fast. Still, the opportunity to become more conscious is available to all of us – fasting in Ramadan is just one of the most powerful and beneficial means to do so in community.

a black and white tryptic portrait of a dark skin elder black Muslim woman in hijab holding a date in on hand and a cup of water in another. on the other half othe photo she gazes into the camera and we see the top of her head on the bottom portion of the photo
Nsenga Knight 2007, As the Veil Turns: Habibah, 30 x 20 inches, Silver Gelatin Print,
More info about Habeebah is available here: https://nsengaknight.com/artwork/?aa_piece=as-the-veil-turns-habibah-edition-1-of-50

For most of us, it’s hard to detach from food or anything else we enjoy, but, it is necessary to do so in order to connect to what matters more when it’s appropriate to do so. I’m an artist who ebbs and flows between the detached solitude of artmaking in my studio and connecting to other people and building community through my social practice collaborations like my recent X Speaks. Right now back to studio mode. Every time and space has its own special opportunity.

Ramadan Kareem wa Mubarak!

a brown skinned Black mulsim woman artist wears a black hijab, brown duster sweater, light blue jeansm and brown boots and sits at a drawing table surrounded by art in her artist studio at Queens Museum. Two photo lights are on either side of her
Nsenga Knight in her Queens Museum studio where she is 2022-2024 In Situ Fellow and Artist in Residence


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