“I’m massively inspired by the strength and the legacies of my grandparents, particularly my grandmothers who were part of the Windrush generation. The more I learn about their lives, the more I become inspired to work hard. I’m also extremely proud of my heritage and I find the theories surrounding cultural identity fascinating. Those themes are always subconsciously influencing my work.”
Parys Gardener (United Kingdom) is the fifth artist at The Caribbean Housewife. Parys is a Bristol born and raised digital artist and illustrator, who recently graduated from the University of Westminster. Her style of work can be described as ‘contemporary pop art’. Parys works mostly with colour, tone, and pattern across digital mediums and is passionate about communicating theories surrounding identity and culture. Parys has Jamaican and Cuban roots. She often takes inspiration from her own background and family history, particularly her grandparents. She aims to highlight the voices and narratives of black women and other women of colour through the prospective of her own story and experiences.
Working in portraiture and the human figure, Parys combines traditional and contemporary formats of illustration and motifs with modern modes of representation. Her strong use of powerful colours forces you to confront the issue she is conveying and presents it in a unique yet relatable way.
Parys aims to break down stereotypes and uses her powerful images as a platform to support women of colour. She focuses on the portrayal of women of colour as active figures in a range of narratives, and seeks to reframe the visual representation of marginalised communities in popular culture. Her work reclaims the voice of black women by challenging stereotypes and presenting society with a new, alternative and far more accurate representation. Using her work as a platform and voice, Parys hopes her work will normalise the image of black women and women of colour: “I hope that my work will reclaim their voices, but also will inspire others to make women of all backgrounds the centre pieces of their own narratives.
The Caribbean Housewife is the first in Copenhagen, Denmark to present a series by Parys Gardener. Her illustrations are on show and for sale.
‘GRL PWR’ by Parys Gardener