“I hope to contribute to cultural diversity for dialogue and development.”
Danielle Mbenda, a girl, always smiles unless something serious happens. She is an Austin-based Mixed media textile artist and was born-and-raised Cameroonian girl with nothing more than passion, a laptop, and a dream. She is a self-taught artist with a strong background in Architecture, IT Software Development, and Therapeutic Art.
The Forbidden Has Opened Again is inspired by how that woman, survivor of an abusive relationship, struggled to open herself once more to life, to people and things, to someone else, to another partner.
Some people think it's easy from the outside. However, the inside is painful, scary, and regretful.
Behind her creations lies inspiration from her lifetime of experiences and her lifelong passion as an artist. Undoubtedly, many people experience the same thing she has been through, or even worse. Some of them can't find help. Some others have people around, but they don't have the strength and the courage to ask for help. Victims of violence are often silent. While undergoing that experience, Danielle learned to express herself through her daily outfits and designs
My mind of his own mind
emotionally manipulated by her domestic partner.
One minute he will criticize her.
The next minute he would compliment her.
Next, he will say that she is too sensitive.
The same scenarios happened repeatedly and reached the point at which she could not trust her own thoughts. Her mind was his mind. With him, she lived in a whirlwind of emotions that escaped her.
The mix of various patterns and colors she designed and wore became her unique way of communicating her feelings and emotions and sending her message to the world. That became a true inspiration driving her passion for women's empowerment while building on her legacy to positively impact future generations of women by stopping them from slipping into the trauma of violence, gender inequality, and women subjugation.
Her commitment expands into Diversity and Inclusion.
Danielle wants to showcase that there are inherent values and beauty in African heritage. From a cultural perspective, she creates artworks that highlight the beauty of diversity. It is a part of the cultural exchange, making the world a more beautiful and connected place for everyone.
“A particular piece at the center of her creations is the African Fabric, which has always been the silent African woman's means of responding indirectly to various situations, frustrations, and questions”
She uses various sewing techniques with multiple fabrics that she pairs with traditional and modern objects like horns, moss, cowries shells, pearls, wood, mirrors, and much more. Sometimes she adds a touch of acrylic to her artworks. In addition, she purchases some traditional materials from local artisans in Africa. That is one way for her to participate in the artisan economy - those who practice traditional crafts as a means to earn income and sustain their livelihoods.
Brain Upside Down is about a girl's mind is at play by the one she thought she knew very well.
"Another way of manipulation was playing with my mind.
He would tell me that this or that event did not go as I said. Then he would correct my story.
And, even if my side of the story were correct, he would do anything to implant his own version in my mind.
Here is his favorite manipulation: he would convince me that what I saw, heard or did, never happened! Or, at least, not the way I remembered it."
Her artworks address social and cultural needs and intend to empower women in communities around the globe while promoting identity and inclusion as a global heritage
This artwork is inspired by my commitment to Inclusion and Diversity.
Black power fist in a heart full of love and protection.
You matter. I matter. We matter.
Danielle's creativity is not limited to handcrafted mixed media textiles. She found herself exploring the area of digital art as well as other decorative arts like pillow covers, things that stir your imagination and make you and your space feel seen and known. Danielle's goal is that her art immerses you into a space in which if someone asks how you feel, your answer is: "I feel home."
Prize Ribbon (1)
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