A Mixed Group Exhibition is being held at the Hin Bus Depot Art Centre along Jalan Gurdwara in Penang until 10 October.
In our materialistic capitalistic world, we need more artists, poets, musicians, indie film producers, philosophers, cartoonists story-tellers and dreamers from the periphery – with a strong social message and alternative viewpoint – to point us to new possibilities.
So it is important to support the local arts scene. Among the work being exhibited by half a dozen artists at the Mixed Group Exhibition are three paintings from up-and-coming Penang-based artist Jennifer Mourin’s “Mother GAIA” series:
Reflecting on how our earth is exploited and violated – and how animals are cruelly abused and hunted to death/near extinction – her new paintings challenge humankind’s maltreatment of animals, and the destruction of our Mother GAIA. The “Mother Gaia” series imbibes the need to take stock of what we are sacrificing in the name of greed, mal-development and over-consumption.
These new paintings assert the need to respect, protect and defend our planet and her progeny against abuse, exploitation, depletion and death. Jennifer’s personification of Mother Earth/GAIA in the women she paints surrounded by the animals facing extinction stares people in the eye, calling for people to change, for the killings to stop!
A feature in Life & Soul describes Jennifer as follows:
Working with gouache, acrylic and oils, her art features and celebrates strong women in all facets of their daily lives – women responding to the on-going changes in their environment and communities, women seeking spiritual balance and love, women as care-givers of mother earth, as monitors of the development affecting her environment, and as resisters of destruction.
Themes of motherhood and nurturing feature heavily across Jennifer Mourin’s art, where bold colours, curvaceous figures and spiritual messages unequivocally converge in this playground of life through the eyes of Mourin herself. An ode to Mother Earth or Gaia.
“Gaia is all around me,” states the Malaysian-born Jennifer Mourin. “Overlooking the hills near where I live there are red spots. You see all the red earth – it’s like Gaia’s bleeding. It gets me mad when she is abused. There is a nurturing energy about being a woman. I see it in Mother Earth. But take care of her. She is sustaining us but humans trample on her constantly and for what – greed, vanity. There are red patches here [Malaysia] because people have cut trees, but why not replant what you take.”
Strong women are celebrated across Jennifer Mourin’s artwork and she is thankful for growing up in a family of strong matriarchs. With grandmothers of Thai origin on both her maternal and paternal side, Jennifer Mourin has been inspired by her mother’s Thai village in Kelantan, east Malaysia. She has even claimed the sarongs that the women in Kelantan wear as a totem for her identity and art. The beautifully coloured, batik-style prints feature heavily throughout her pieces.
Admission to the art exhibition is free.