Working with a love of tea, coffee, soil, and our living environment. Wander through my world as I explore natural materials.

  • Studio Practice

    My studio practice is interdisciplinary, curious, and experimental. I am inspired by plants, nature, and our living world. I find joy in using pigments of the earth through painting, working with flowers through natural dyes and installation work, creating art from ephemeral materials such as tea and coffee, writing gratitude poems to my fellow plant allies, and learning from my plant guides. My use of tea stems back to my childhood, where I grew up surrounded by numerous tea ceremonies and storytelling with visitors over tea.

    Wander through my studio practice 
  • Joyous By Abenaart Shop

    Natural dyes | Earth Pigments | Paintings

    Joyous by Abenaart is an extension of my Studio practice. Joyous offers naturally dyed scarves, bandanas, neckties, tea towels, handmade paper, flower, tea and coffee paintings, and nature based pieces. Joyous works with an intentionally slow and seasonal Approach and is open for short periods at different times in the year - subscribe to my newsletter for store open dates

  • About Abena Motaboli...

    Abena Motaboli (she/her) is a Basotho - Ghanaian, educator, interdisciplinary artist, natural dyer, and writer based in Chicago - the unceded territories of the Three Fires Confederacy: Ojibwe, Odawa, and Potawatomi.

    She grew up in Lesotho, a landlocked country in Southern Africa, before moving to the U.S where she obtained her bachelor's degree in Fine Arts at Columbia College Chicago and at L'institut Catholique de Paris in Paris, France. She is currently engaged with the Center For Humans and Nature as a Land Reciprocity Program Developer and in Land access research with the Kalliopeia Foundation.

    With a strong commitment to social and environmental justice work in the Chicago Land area and being an immigrant, her artwork explores themes of belonging, interconnectedness, and more. Central to her values is Ubuntu - our shared connection to land , each other, and this place we call home and she invites her audience to experience spaces to contemplate through installation, abstract work, or through vivid bright colors in mural work.

    She has exhibited her work in solo and group exhibits such as Confluence at Heaven Gallery - Chicago, The Other Art Fair Chicago, SOFA, Chicago, Bhavan Gallery - based in London, Woman Made Gallery - Chicago, DIFFA Pop-Up Gold Coast Gallery, and Aqua Art Miami to name a few. Her work is also placed in private collections throughout the U.S. Motaboli also has a few poems published with Northeastern Illinois University’s annual SEEDS Literary and Visual Arts Journal.

Bio Image above & banner image at the top of the page were taken in the Midwestern Prairie by Atoi Glennette

Prairie Red - a short Film

    This short Film was shot by @renavision & I on a beautiful extended Fall day near one of my favorite spots by the water 🌊 these waters that have seen me process everything, from mending my heart to utter happiness, to - just process. These waters offer me moments of play, spontaneity, delight, solace, space, moments … 🤍

    ❤️ Prairie Red ❤️
    The blades of grass dance on my skin,
    They whisper to me with the calm of an evening by the water.
    The air warm,
    Thick with promise,
    Thick with the end of the summer
    Thick with the passage of time -
    Shifting seasons
    Shifting transitions
    Shedding old skins
    Making space for the new
    Transitions and movement
    Movement and moving -
    through grief, laughter, joy, spontaneity, reconnection with self - with self and others.

    Healing -
    And land.
    Landing -
    And constantly

    These prairie blades whisper love notes to my soul.
    Embracing my thoughts in the sun,
    As if to say here we are.
    Dance with me
    And release what needs to be released.
    Prairie red ❤️
    You, are.