"Obstacles and rules imposed on us as girls and women, often do not allow us to live our lives in a way that feels natural to us, the life that we want or decide to pursue. Are these rules set to preserve and protect us, or are they only to control us?
For many people, it’s hard to understand who they are and what they represent. It takes time and effort to untie our stories from the web of misconceptions about ourselves – the stories that society has woven around us over time.
Determining where these stories end and where we begin to tell our unique stories can be hard or even scary, but it’s an important path to take if we want to live authentically.
There is a lot that we cannot talk about; we might not have the words or the language to express them. There are indeed situations that only require silence. But is silence necessary here, or is it a sign of our inability to find answers to the many questions that arise for us, and of our inability to express them?
I am tired, what to do? Why me? How should I be? What should I say? What is the solution?... And many more of these questions are swirling around inside us.
The figures in my paintings take on my personal appearance. I often paint my facial features and put them into the personality I am showing. The use of a single face on different personalities shall invite the viewer to focus on what the characters feel and not on who they are. Using puzzle-like squares of wood, I put my girls in small and confined spaces and onto solid substances. Again, do they put us in these small spaces in order to preserve and fear us or is it just about controlling us?"
- Artist Statement, Amani Azhari, 2023
Amani Azhari was born in Khartoum, Sudan in 1998. She completed a B.A. in Fine Art from the Sudan University of Science & Technology, Faculty of Fine and Applied Arts in Khartoum in 2022. She has been part of several group exhibitions in Khartoum: Begging (Downtown Gallery, 2022), Aspirations (French Institute, 2022), Talking Spirits (UNITAMS Khartoum, 2022), Their Strength is Art (House of Heritage, 2021), Khali Dua (Downtown Gallery, 2021), Bait El Nisa Annual Exhibition (Savannah Gallery, 2020), and Dounia Dabanga Annual Exhibition (Nadi El Gibti, 2017), among others. She has shown in Pink Flame, a group exhibition by Tewas Art Gallery in Nairobi, Kenya in 2022, and, from May–August 2023 showing in Shapes of Water, a group exhibition at Afriart Gallery in Kampala, Uganda. She recently completed a residency with Silhouette Projects in Kampala. Normally living and working in her home town Khartoum, due to the political situation in Sudan, she is currently based in Kampala.