Felisha Carenage

Drawing Breath

Drawing breath is an essay on the journey from artistic research to research aesthetics which brought Felisha Maria to design a kind of made-to-measure uniform for herself and three different women from the english-speaking Caribbean Diaspora, as they navigate the emotional work of their loaded socio-political global contexts. 

Using the medium of drawing, Felisha Maria investigates tools with which the colonised female body attempts to claim autonomy in the navigation of europeanised space, from Paris to the Colorado Mountains to Shanghai’s French Concession to the former British colony of Trinidad and Tobago.
These spaces are permeated by the inherent violence of colonialism, which is also to be found within the landscape/body itself.
Drawing Breath explores the volatility of these negotiations in essay form –  modalities of dressmaking, as described by Anna Muthesius in Das Eigenkleid der Frau (1903), are used to analyse the work of Fashion Designer Shanya Greene, Linguist and Magical Realist Dr. Glenda Alicia Leung, Forensic Psychologist Dr. Ayesha Prout and finally the author’s own artistic practice. With critical use of Frantz Fanon’s views on the female colonised body’s negotiations of European and Europeanized space, from the 2008 english translation by Richard Philcox of Fanon’s Black Skin White Masks, Drawing Breath considers the colonised female as a body which has been, through violence and exploitation, itself turned into a kind of plantation landscape.

Photo: Insa Kühlcke-Schmoldt
Flyer cover design: Káschem Büro