Exhibitions and Updates

Please mark your calendar for three of my upcoming exhibitions this fall at the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston (November 21, 2015 – February 14, 2016, opening Friday, November 20th), at Project Rowhouses (Oct 24, 2015 – Feb 28, 2016, opening Oct 24, 2015 ) and my solo exhibition, White Circle, Black Square, Silver Pentagon at Room 100 in Durham, NC which opens September 1st. For the Project Rowhouses exhibition, I’ll be in Houston from October 10th-24th to create a site-specific installation in one of the rowhouses.

Two of my works, All and Absolute from my Ritual and Revolution project are currently on view at Visual Art Exchange in Raleigh, NC. The WERD exhibition runs until July 31st, 2015.

I’ve just finished updating my site with documentation from my two recent projects: Make Safe Make Space (2014) and X Speaks: Nsenga Knight and X Collaborators (2015). The Make Safe Make Space page now has a short video documentary of the project and documentation of the most recent istallation of the Make Safe Make Space prints installed as part of the Under Color of Law exhibition at Berman Museum this spring:

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The X Speaks page now includes videos of the eight collaborations.

Get in touch if you’d like to know more about any of my projects or upcoming exhibitions.

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Drawing: Tawhid and Right Brain Thinking

I was talking to a friend yesterday about my new and enhanced love for drawing.

In this Oprah Winfrey interview with neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor, she talks about her realizations during and after having a stroke on the left side of her brain. Without the full functionality of her left brain, her right brain was no longer checked by language and the ability to name and differentiate things. She experienced a great sense of connection and oneness.

Oprah’s interview with Dr. Taylor helped me to understand what was going on when my teacher demonstrated drawing a still-life of two apples. I realized that my teacher was not naming things as she was drawing. The apples were just curves that appeared before her. Not two separate apples, but curves who’s relationship to one another allowed for each of them to appear to be apples. When I realized this- that she was not deciding to draw two apples by naming them as such and then drawing them,  I had a real breakthrough. What I was witnessing was another reality of Tawhid (Oneness) and I no longer needed to give a name to what I was seeing, but just accept it and draw it. I didn’t have to finish one object before beginning another – because I was no longer seeing them as separate objects. Drawing on this new realization, I was in a sort of euphoria and you couldn’t take the silly smile off my face as I drew the new still life. I was getting it!  I moved my charcoal all over my paper as I made lines, curves, and other marks appear as renderings of objects.

I’m making some new still-life drawings and I love it. I’ll probably exhibit some of my new drawings at my next solo exhibition at Room 100 at Goldenbelt Studios this September. I love love love experimenting and challenging myself in new mediums. My new thing these days is taking classes on everything I do not know well but would like to be skilled in. This includes things like waterless lithography (learned that earlier in the year), Arabic (I’m a beginner and my husband is teaching me more), and swimming (I’ve started an Aqua Tots class with my baby boy and I’m going to learn how to swim for real this summer inshaAllah).

Every medium I work with teaches me something new about life. The first big lesson I recall learning from art was integrity – I learned that as a dancer. Drawing teaches me not to name things; at least not before I really look, accept and connect.

Artist in Residence at Artspace

Artist in Residence at Artspace

From January 8 – July 6, 2013, I will be an Artist in Residence at Artspace in Raleigh, NC. Artspace has a unique open door policy and educational program which invites people to engage in the artmaking process by visiting the artist studios at any time during public hours Tuesday – Saturday, 10am-6pm. Feel free to stop by my studio #215 during the week. I will also be participating in First Friday Open studios each month where you can enjoy refreshments and visit between 6pm and 10pm.

You can reach me at nsengak@gmail.com ahead of time to coordinate a visit.

I look forward to seeing you soon!