How can a house reflect migration’s arcs, its losses, and its gains? It is this quest for reconciliation that draws Grace Aneiza Ali into the mother’s house paintings by Guyanese-born British artist Frank Bowling OBE RA (b. British Guiana, 1934). Bowling’s practice for the past six decades has been defined by his expert weaving of autobiography and geographical subject matter into the formalist rigor of color abstraction. In tandem, his early figurative and abstract paintings informally regarded as the Mother’s House Paintings are defined by a singular motif: a 1953 photograph of the house he grew up in and often returned to—his mother’s house—in New Amsterdam, Guyana.
Grace Aneiza Ali
Guyanese-born Grace Aneiza Ali is a Curator and Assistant Professor in the Departments of Art and Art History at Florida State University in Tallahassee. Her curatorial, research and teaching practices center on curatorial activism, art, and migration, and art of the Caribbean diaspora with a focus on Guyana. Ali serves as Curator at Large for the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute in New York City, and directs its Curatorial Fellowship in Afro-Caribbean Art and Curators in Conversation public program series. Ali is a current Association of Art Museum Curators Professional Alliance for Curators of Color (PACC) Fellow and the incoming Editor in Chief of the College Art Association (CAA) Art Journal Open. She is an Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Curatorial Fellow and Fulbright Scholar. Her essays on contemporary art have been published in Asian Diasporic Visual Cultures and the Americas, Wasafiri, Harvard University’s Transition Magazine, Small Axe Project, and Nueva Luz: Photographic Journal. Her book Liminal Spaces: Migration and Women of the Guyanese Diaspora (2021) explores the art and migration narratives of women of Guyanese heritage.