LONDON.- Tiwani Contemporary
announces a story. in parts. the first solo exhibition by ruby onyinyechi amanze. The exhibition will present new, unseen works that form part of an ongoing series of drawings in which the artist envisions narratives of supernatural existence to evoke ideas around hybridity. Though inspired by amanze's own experience of being born in Nigeria, growing up in the UK and now residing in America, the work speaks widely of a growing community of individuals whose sense of identity is no longer tied in with a sense of place.
The story referenced in the exhibition title stems from amanze's trip to Nigeria as a Fulbright fellow in 2012. Whilst there, she wrote profusely: letters, poems and fictional stories that captured her journey of self-discovery, and the encounter with her birthplace. These writings developed into a part-written, part-drawn process through which amanze conceived of a chimeric otherworld populated by a busy menagerie of aliens, hybrids and ghosts. These include ada the Alien, amanze's alter ego, whose ambivalent otherness echoes the artist's ongoing enquiry into the notion of 'belonging'. The narrative has since expanded to include an entire family of kindred creatures whose mischievous routines and playful activities are chronicled in the drawings.
Now totalling over 60 works on paper and featuring techniques including photo-transfer and flocking, stories from the series will be exhibited at Tiwani Contemporary. The exhibition highlights non-linear narration as a key principle in amanze's current drawing practice. It is centered around a large-scale, immersive drawing which takes up over half the gallery space. From wall to wall, floor to ceiling, the 72-inch-high drawing depicts ada the Alien and other members of the family in a sequence of happenings and interactions that, though clearly connected, do not form a continuous narrative.
amanze has said that "ada the Alien was born out of necessity: the need to identify a neutral voice through which to tell stories that highlight the complexities of experiencing home as an alien or foreign being."
ruby onyinyechi amanze (b. 1982) is a Brooklyn-based artist of Nigerian birth and British upbringing. Her drawings and works on paper have been influenced greatly by this cultural hybridity, as well as by textile design, photography, printmaking and architecture.
amanze was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship in 2012 and recently exhibited her work at MoCADA (New York, 2013) and CCA Lagos (2013). She is a graduate of the Tyler School of Art (Philadelphia) and the Cranbrook Academy of Art. She is currently a Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Workspace Artist-in-Residence, New York City (September 2014 - May 2015).