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My 3 Recent Exhibition Visits

Hi there,


Just typing "hi" was followed by a long pause. It's been a while since I last sat down to write, although in truth, I'm always writing in some form or another. But here I am, back at it again.


Showcasing pieces of the 3 artists at Eniyan Exhibition

In this blog post, I share my recent experiences from three exhibition visits and delve into how they stirred my emotions. You get to find out why I was MIA. For those who know me or perhaps those who don't, visiting art galleries, museums, and exhibitions has been a constant in my life, particularly since my early twenties. It has become one of my safest and favourite things to do, mostly alone. Let's get into it!


In January, I went solo to AGO to view the exhibition "Life Between Islands: Caribbean-British Art 1950s-Now," and it evoked emotions in me for many reasons. I went there as an escape to be alone with my thoughts yet enveloped by the loud voices of the art pieces. I saw some photography pieces taken on the Black People's Day of Action, 2nd March 1981. I remember seeing this quote from Phillips that said, "We haven't been given a proper platform to show our culture, our side of the story... it's not Black history, this is British history, whether you like it or not."


In the hour and a half I spent immersed in the exhibition, exploring the impactful photography capturing the struggles of black individuals and thought-provoking paintings such as the one depicting a woman weaving her hair, her gaze hinting at an anticipation for what lies ahead, to the portrayal of the burdens placed upon the first girl child in many black households, I found myself deeply moved. It was a beautiful display, yet it also stirred fear within me. As I was in the midst of curating my own exhibition, I couldn't help but wonder if I would be able to unveil stories and emotions as effectively as these curators did. However, I managed to shake off those doubts.



In February, I had the opportunity to present an exhibition I curated myself."ENIYAN," this exhibition celebrated black excellence through the works of three artists; Shaza Tarig, Zandra Jack, and Aisha Jallow, spanning two mediums: digital art and photography. As a tribute to Black History Month, "ENIYAN" shed light on the indispensable role of the community in fostering black excellence. A particular piece from Aisha Jellow, a portrait series called "Bathroom Break." This artwork evoked memories of my high school days, where the bathroom served as a safe space—a place for intimate conversations with friends becoming a place I could have my makeup retouched by a stranger as an adult. We set up a book for visitors to leave their reviews, and one in particular struck a chord with me. It read, "The vibe felt like a mild June Sunday in Haarlem." It totally warmed my heart. You can explore the showcased pieces here.


In March, I attended Zandra "UNKWNZJ" Jack's Solo Exhibition, "Blueprint," curated by Muse & Museums. Zandra, an artist featured in ENIYAN, presents refreshingly distinct work. One standout piece, "Say Cheese," exuded boldness and made me smile a lot. Her approach of leaving room for interpretation adds layers of fascination, as each viewer finds their own meaning within her creations. I've noticed that artists often produce their most meaningful work when they create for themselves and I can say this for Zandra.


All exhibitions, except for ENIYAN, are currently open for viewing. If you find yourself in Toronto, be sure to check them out.


My recent visits to these exhibitions have been nothing short of inspiring and thought-provoking. Each piece of art, with its unique perspective and narrative, has left a lasting impression on me. From the powerful messages conveyed at the AGO's "Life Between Islands" exhibition to the celebration of black excellence in "ENIYAN," I've been reminded of the profound impact art can have on both individuals and communities. As I continue my journey in the world of curating and experiencing art, I look forward to the stories yet to be told and the emotions waiting to be evoked. Here's to many more enriching experiences.


I hope you enjoyed this post. Share your thoughts in the comments below, and if you've visited any of these exhibitions, I'd love to hear about your experience.


Cheers!

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