Bith Rite

Meridy Bates
16 July 1996 to 17 August 1996
Birth Rite was an exploration of place and identity, historical, cultural and psychological. The symbols, colour and vocabulary she has used are a means of exploring these areas with her inspirations deriving from Nubian art forms, symbols, oratory, motifs and textiles from traditional sources, particularly those of the Asanti and Yoruba, together with Caribbean influences. The vibrant images reflect Bates’s bi-racial experiences – providing an insight into human emotions, exploring boundaries of equality as well as social and political issues facing people of diverse cultural identity across the nation.

Bates’s aim is for her work to develop a human scale and resonance and her intention is to pursue the relationship that has begun to develop between the forms that compose the paintings.

From computer-generated montage ‘Collective’ to oil on canvas ‘Life Forms’, the works form a human scale, a presence, a sense of being, moving towards inherent qualities of both context and form. In their resonance and evolution they evoke feelings of the intricate, sexual equality, fertility, embryonic form and vulnerability with reference to organic form and imagery – just as the spirit of ‘Sankofa’ must revisit its history to determine its destiny; “I believe a people must know ‘whence they came’ to know where they are going” (Meridy Bates).

This exhibition consisted of oil paintings and works of mixed media.