African Bird Dynasty
White Columns is pleased to announce African Bird Dynasty the first exhibition in the United States by the London-based artist Ntiense Eno-Amooquaye. The exhibition has been developed in close collaboration with the artist and Intoart, a South London organization that seeks to address the “inequalities of access to, and participation in, the visual arts, education and culture by people with learning disabilities.”
In October 2021 White Columns’ director Matthew Higgs encountered Eno-Amooquaye’s exhibition Art Deco Zebra Crossing at Flat Time House, an independent exhibition space and archive located in the former South London home of the persistently influential British artist John Latham (1921—2006.) Eno-Amooquaye’s exhibition was developed over more than a two-year period – much of it during the uncertainty of the pandemic – and in dialog with and in response to Latham’s own work and ideas. Eno-Amooquaye’s exhibition at Flat Time House was at once domestic in scale but almost cosmic in its complexity and ambition.
Eno-Amooquaye’s exhibition at White Columns expands upon Art Deco Zebra Crossing. The central elements from the Flat Time House exhibition – including a video of Eno-Amooquaye performing her poem Art Deco Zebra Crossing, a series of six paintings on paper collectively titled the Language of Rights that reflect upon the urgency of recent and historical civil rights movements, a decorated velvet dressing screen, the dress that Eno-Amooquaye created specifically for the reading of her poem, and silk wall hangings – reappear at White Columns alongside African Bird Dynasty, a group of four new large-scale wall hangings that combine Shibori tie dyeing and hand screen printing. (Each of the new wall-hangings will function as a backdrop to a scene to be performed by Eno-Amooquaye as part of a new film project that is currently in development.)
Ntiense Eno-Amooquaye’s far-reaching practice integrates the visual, written and spoken word through print, text, image and live performance. Writing about her experiences at Flat Time House and the relationships between her practice and Latham’s Eno-Amooquaye said: “Flat Time House is a living sculpture by John Latham about his dreams and his history. He has gone now so it’s hard to see him again, but I see him in his books. He spoke about the universe, I look at the globe of the world, the maps of the world and the stars. The flying chariots in ‘Art Deco Zebra Crossing’ are related to the world and outer space. … I have a memory that tells the whole story of history. When I perform I have dreams that I show in the stage set, the screen and the silks. The dress that I designed to perform in is organised with images, it tells a story about art. The dress talks about the world and about having a stage, having a voice for storytelling.”
Ntiense Eno-Amooquaye is a member of the Peckham, London-based collective Intoart. Previous solo exhibitions include: Flat Time House, London (2021); and the National Poetry Library, Southbank Centre, London (2014). Other group exhibitions and performances include the Whitechapel Gallery, London (2009); Museum Texture Kortrijk, Belgium (2017); Peer, London (2018); and the Copeland Gallery, London (2022), among others. In 2017 Eno-Amooquaye was awarded the Artists International Development Fund by the Arts Council England and the British Council.
About Intoart: Based in Peckham, London (UK), Intoart supports the work of over 20 artists addressing inequalities of access to, and participation in, the visual arts, education and culture by people with learning disabilities. Established in 2000 by co-founders Ella Ritchie and Sam Jones, the Intoart studio is a site of collective action and ambitious art, design and craft production. Intoart has realized exhibitions, commissions and research projects with contemporary art galleries and museums in the UK and internationally. Pioneering in their support for the careers of artists Intoart house over 3,000 artworks in the ‘Intoart Collection’. Intoart recently published the book The Intoart Collection – An Octopus with Boomerangs featuring the work of artists affiliated with Intoart and with an introduction by George Vasey. To learn more: www.intoart.org.uk
To learn more about Flat Time House: www.flattimeho.org.uk
White Columns would like to thank Ntiense Eno-Amooquaye; Sam Jones and Ella Ritchie of Intoart; and Gareth Bell Jones and everyone at Flat Time House for their enthusiasm, assistance and support in making this exhibition a possibility.
Ntiense Eno-Amooquaye’s exhibition has been generously supported in part by funds from the Mitzi and Warren Eisenberg Family Foundation, Martin and Rebecca Eisenberg, Ronald and Debra Eisenberg, Shelly and Neil Mitchell, and Randi and Eric Sellinger.
Since 2005 White Columns has collaborated extensively with national and international organizations that support the work of artists living with disabilities, including: Creative Growth Art Center (Oakland, CA); N.I.A.D. (Richmond, CA); Visionaries & Voices (Cincinnati, OH); H.A.I. (New York, NY); Fountain House (New York, NY); Tierra Del Sol (Los Angeles, CA); Gateway Arts (Brookline, MA); and Project Ability (Glasgow, Scotland).
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