We are very excited to be partnering up with Soul Series on our blog with a bi-weekly series that is aimed to increase awareness of DMV’s prospering and creative community through engaging interviews and podcasts.
Soul Series is not only an entertainment platform but serves as a resource for DMC/DC artists and the surrounding community to connect and learn. At Steadfast Supply, our mission is to share and support the stories of creatives, makers, and entrepreneurs from across the globe through our retail and events space. We are very proud to support Soul Series' mission through our online platform.
INTERVIEW 01: MURJONI, MEET THE FEMALE ARTIST EXPRESSING HER IDENTITY THROUGH SCULPTURE
Graduate of MICA (Maryland Institute College of Art), Murjoni, creates sculpted beings that are based around real people and real experiences. Her work addresses and eliminates stereotypes through clay portraits and video work. With this, she enjoys going against the European standards of “beauty,” that are placed upon people of color (light skin, petite figure, straight hair, etc), and normalizing what is natural about black bodies. Continuing her craft, she plans to keep eliminating stereotypes and prejudices while uplifting the black community.
BreaSoul: Where did you grow up? What are traditions, trends, or identities that surrounded you in that area? Are similar trends or traits, from your upbringing, shown in your work?
Murjoni: I grew up in Prince George’s County but went to a private high school with very little people of color. So, where I went to school was a very different environment from where i lived, which had a huge influence on my work.
BreaSoul: What are your top two favorites from your sculpture collection? Why?
“I love all my pieces, they are like my family.”
However, if I had to choose the top two, it would be Jazzelle and Untitled 1 (Braided Shawdy). These two pieces personally speak to me. Jazzelle relates to past feelings about how I felt as a bald woman, and how that impacts self- identity. Untitled 1 (Braided Shawdy) is dear to be because of the amount of time spent on it. I hand-braided all the braids, making it reminiscent to my mother doing my own hair when I was younger.
BreaSoul: We know ceramics is your go-to but what other type of material do you find yourself using a lot?
Murjoni: I find myself mainly using clay a lot.. I have dabbled a tiny bit with plaster and wax, but I always enjoy clay more every-time. I also enjoy experimenting on surfacing! (Hair, flocking, paint colors etc).
BreaSoul: Are the faces presented in your sculptures reflective of your friends and the DMV community or just random?
Murjoni: The sculpture’s faces represent a general pool of proud people of color. Many people from different cultures feel as though my sculptures relates to their place of home, which is what I like. For example, people have mentioned Florida culture, or Baltimore culture when referring to my work.
BreaSoul: What is your identity within the black community? Describe yourself.
Murjoni: Simple. I describe myself as a proud black bald woman. I want to give black people a platform to live and appreciate themselves for how they naturally are.
“I want people to look at my work and say, “Wow that looks like me” or “ That looks like someone I know” I want the trends in my pieces to relate to people of color, in a way they makes us more proud to be who we are. To celebrate!”