• Amenda Tate

Reclaiming your powers: empathy, standing up, speaking up


Reclaiming your powers: empathy, standing up, speaking up 


I attended a recent Potions for Humanity workshop with Jonny Stax sponsored by the Iowa Arts Council during Art Week Des Moines. During the break-out session, I recalled a moment in which gender discrimination instigated a workplace problem. At the time, I worked at a furniture workshop. I was the only female working in the shop rather than the office.


As the issue unfolded in a larger way, it came to include racial discrimination during management's attempts to correct the situation. This was a moment for me to realize that inequality follows a tiered hierarchical structure. It is based on a complex system of race, gender, sexual-orientation, etc. Ultimately, true privilege is at the top and true discrimination is at the bottom – it is a continuum that results in an unequal playing field. Falling within that range as a female helps me understand that discrimination exists. However, as someone that has always lived in white skin, I must use that empathetic awareness to explore the ways in which inequality runs far deeper due to race. 


I chose to create a “potion” based on this experience. I embodied my sensory recollections in the form of dance. I played music connecting me to that day and event. Using my motion-controlled robotic painting tool called Manibus, those kinesthetic emotions were recorded as this painted work of art. 


On top of the abstract painted lines. I added a white ghost-like chair with perspective and proportions that seem a bit skewed or off-kilter. I hope it looks like a chair in which you can't quite sit comfortably.

Stand up. 


"Workplace Inequities" 

20" x 16" 

latex paint, acrylic paint, canvas, Manibus-Translated dance moves 


@iowaartscouncil@potions4humanity@jonnystax


#art #artist #contemporaryart #contemporarypainting #contemporaryartist #manibus #dance #performance #performanceart #imbalance #power #priviledge #discrimination #standup #move #speakup #kinesthetics #emotion #embody #potions4humanity #iacfellow #fragility #equality #equity #grow #empathy #iowaarts #amendatate


© 2020 by Amenda Tate, LLC

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