The Arts & Business Council, Blackbird Media, and F&M Bank have teamed up to present the Artist of the Week on The Nashville Sign. This week’s featured artist is Nuveen Barwari.
Nuveen Barwari is a visual artist who employs collage to reflect on the fragmented state of diasporic living and membership in a stateless community. Barwari’s expansive practice includes installations; performances; co-hosting a podcast; collecting and repurposing artifacts from her community such as photos, rugs, fabrics, and Kurdish dresses; and an online shop that supplies apparel and art internationally.
Barwari received a Bachelor of Science in Studio Art from Tennessee State University in 2019 and is a 2022 MFA candidate at the University of Tennessee Knoxville. Barwari has worked with and completed projects with the Frist Art Museum, Oasis Center’s Art and Activism Series, Coop Gallery, and McGruder Social Practice Artist Residency. She has exhibited in numerous locations such as Kurdistan’s first Fashion Week (2018) in Erbil, Kurdistan region of Iraq, the Frist Art Museum (2019), the University of Michigan (2019), Sugar Gallery (2019) in Fayetteville, Arkansas, Zg Gallery (2020) in Chicago, 21c Museum Hotel (2021) in Nashville, Tennessee, and NGBK Gallery in Berlin Germany (2021). Barwari is represented by The Red Arrow Gallery in Nashville, TN.
Instead of focusing on what is often lost through translation, Barwari sifts through the different shapes and symbols that are found when one is living between clashing cultures, languages, and places. Barwari’s expansive studio practice involves gathering and repurposing artifacts from her environment such as worn Kurdish clothes, fabric, and used rugs to investigate the politics of display, painting, fashion, and material culture. Barwari paints, cuts, screenprints, and sews on these materials to create discrete objects and larger immersive installations to reflect and explore conditions of assimilation, colonial amnesia, and the fragmented state of diasporic living.
There is a sense of history, place, and loss in the way elements of the body are presented in Barwari’s work. The use and reuse of textiles evoke how they might have looked on a person, how they would have danced or even moved in them. Barwari draws on a wide range of influences from Kurdish literature and dance to U.S commodity culture, the mise-en-scéne of West Asian bazaars, and geopolitical issues. Barwari’s work is an attempt at locating the space between a love song and a protest.
Learn more about Nuveen’s work at nuveenbarwari.com.
Want to be featured on The Nashville Sign? Visual artists working in any medium, who are members* of the Arts & Business Council at the Basic Level ($30 annually) or above, are eligible to apply for Artist of the Week on The Nashville Sign.
*Those unable to become members due to financial barriers can be granted a waiver. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to be confidentially considered for a waiver.