For BTB21 Azraa Motala created work that untangled culturally inherited expectations and the overlapping aspects of her own identity as a young British-Asian Muslim woman, exploring the way in which women from the diaspora have been represented in both the past and the present day, particularly through their dress. Through large scale oil paintings, she re-appropriated the European image of the Eastern woman as it was depicted in so-called Orientalist paintings from the 18th and 19th centuries; essentially adopting the same medium to portray opposing imagery and challenging the accepted notion of dress.
Unapologetic challenged the ongoing narrative of “otherness” and provided a platform for an overlooked community of young British South Asian women from the North West, too often invisible and unheard, whose painted portraits were displayed at the Blackburn Museum & Art Gallery and reproduced on banners, hung on The Town Hall in Blackburn, The Haworth Art Gallery in Accrington, Towneley Hall in Burnley and Nelson Library in Nelson.
Unapologetic was a co-commission with The Harris, Preston
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