On Tuesday, 24 February 2015, the American Corner of Abu Dhabi City hosted a talk by conceptual artist April Banks in celebration of American African History Month.
April is currently an artist-in-residence at the Art Hub located in Musaffah. She spoke about her work including her most recent project in Abu Dhabi. Her image-based works explore issues relating to race and human rights. During the presentation, April reflected on her 2011 project titled “re-fable” which was based on an extensive research of her lineage. She also recounted a story her a missing family heirloom—a violin whose “absence [became] stronger than its presence” and which inspired her plaster sculpture installation titled “Possession is Nine Tenths.” Experimenting with new materials and processes she strives to combine photography, sculpture and installation—to distort and re-image the "image."
Her current Abu Dhabi project “[un]titled ‘desert hawk’” has been an attempt to reinterpret a local cultural artifact (the burqa
) and link it to her own personal and artistic experience. An audience of over 40 students and staff marveled in her fabled imagery and immersive research processes which has taken her to various countries to gather first-hand experience. In the past, April took up residence in Brazil, Colombia, and Jordan. She has been a part of several international art programs and appreciates the challenges and opportunities of working in a different language and culture.
April Banks graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture from Hampton University in Virginia in 1996 and a Master of Science in Environmental Design from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena in 1999. She has exhibited extensively in the US as well as Switzerland, Colombia and Brazil.