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I Am Her

I Am Her art exhibition

An exhibition of mixed media arts, in celebration of women everywhere

Inspired by International Womens Day on 8 March, this exhibition showcases the work of a number of Coventry's female creatives, from diverse social and cultural backgrounds. The exhibition has been organised and curated by Maokwo, an arts organisation that champions art in the community, especially as a means of expressing feelings and bringing communities together.

In a first for St Mary's Guildhall we have opened the rarely seen Muniment Room for this special exhibition. Built in 1893 as a depositry for the city's most precious archives, over successive decades the room gradually filled with other materials until it became a general store for equipment and other clutter. It has only recently been cleared to reveal the space once more.

Featured artists

Laura Nyahuye 

Artist, Designer, Storyteller, Creative writer, Community Activist and CEO at Maokwo. Laura makes body adornments that challenge perceptions connected with migration, women’s issues, marginalisation, and tokenism. Her message is that it is important to explore, learn and accept that it’s okay to be different, and to embrace the fact that there is no need to blend in. Instagram: @LauraNyahuye      

Namita Panchal

With a specialism in landscapes paintings and poetry, Namita studied visual arts at The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, India and is currently pursuing MA Painting at Coventry University. Her landscapes are inspired from the surrounding places where the something is in the search. Like all humans in search of something and even she is in search of the dream. Painting is a way for Namita to express her gratitude for the beauty God as gifted us, while her landscapes suggest something lying beyond, just as we are all searching for something. Instagram: @Namitayp     

Michala Gyetvai

Essentially a fine artist who paints and sculpts with threads,  Michala stitches and layers her images in a complex variety of materials, employing both hand and machine techniques. Her work explores femininity, relationships, life and death, taking inspiration from historical painters, poets and composers. She writes poetry and often these poems become a title, which become a tangible reality when transformed into landscapes, either as drawings, paintings or stitched works. lnstagram: @michalagyetvai

Jodie Hall

Currently a final year student in Fine Art at Coventry University, Jodie's interest in  feminist literature has deeply influenced her studio practice to consider the contemporary woman's mistreatment within society; and, specifically, the withstanding oppression of women within domestic households. She captures iconography of furniture and kitchen appliances, within the mediums of installation and ceramics, to create a thought provoking platform to raise awareness of these issues. 

Baljit Rayit

A self-taught mixed media artist from Coventry, Baljit uses art to portray messages of consciousness, compassion and strength. She is passionate about empowering her local community, championing diversity, seeking adventure and promoting environmental sustainability. She loves using art as an expressive tool and will paint on anything from denim to canvas. Instagram: @artxbal

Saba Zahid

Born and raised in Lahore, Pakistan, Saba is currently completing her MA in Painting at Coventry University. Her paintings revolve around the female figure, with the subjects in her work mainly inspired by family members and friends. Her art speaks of the individual identity of women in her society and women in general, aiming to depict her subject’s story by adding different environments and objects in her paintings. Instagram: @sabazahidzahir

Ryan C.L. Hart

Currently studying a BA in Fine art at Coventry University, Ryan's submission to the exhibition pays homage to the neoclassical Sculptor Mary Edmonia Lewis. Born in the early 1840’s to an African American father and Native American Mother, she became a beautiful example of strength and determination despite the numerous burdens that she carried throughout her lifetime. Her work, which featured themes of freedom and famous abolitionists, led her to achieve international fame and recognition in the Fine Art world. Instagram: @ryancl_

Melissa Smith

Melissa discovered her artistic purpose after falling ill, and found that doodling helped her to refocus her mind away from her chronic pain and anxiety. She is passionate about sharing the benefits creativity can have on a person’s health, wellbeing, connections and happiness, and is on a  mission to help others to explore their creativity. Instagram: @FeelGoodInsta       

Tayyibah Mota

Currently studying for a BA Fine Arts BA Degree at Coventry University, latelyTayyibah's work has been influenced by her involvement with the Positive Youth Foundation, and the City of CultureTrust. Her art centres on identity, in particular what it means to be British, Indian and Muslim, and these themes have manifested into a body of work which this year called ‘Being Muslim”. 

Zoey Sibanda

Originally from Zimbabwe, Zoey is a Fine Art student at Coventry University. Her art is focussed on how ancient civilizations, especially those of Egypt and Greece, used mathematics and architecture for religious expression.