ExhibitionsCurrently on View

Imani Roach
Heirloom
May 4th - June 29th, 2018
Imani Roach

Heirloom

Willie Gladys Martin was born in Virginia in 1901 and died in Ohio the same year that I was born. Though I never met my great-grandmother, the two things that I grew up knowing about her were that she was a gifted baker and that she struggled with severe mental illness throughout much of her adult life. Heirloom is my attempt to understand her impact as a caretaker of both my grandmother and mother, and by extension the legacy of her care in me. The show, which includes both graphite drawings and sculptural works in bread, also extends my previous explorations of the drive to permanence in object-making and its relationship to illusions of bodily control and psychic autonomy.

Imani Roach is a Philadelphia based art-writer, visual artist and musician. Across disciplines, her interests include the surveillance, consumption and containment of black emotion, vulnerability and entitlement practices in urban space, gender and the public/private divide, and aging bodies in the American imaginary. Her recent sculptural work uses everyday consumables like bread and candle wax to think through issues of gender, labor and the black body. In addition to being an active member of Vox Populi, she is the Managing Editor of Artblog (an online journal for local arts criticism), a co-founder of The Lonely Painter Project (a bi-coastal performance collaborative), and an instructor at the University of the Arts, where she teaches the art of Africa and the black diaspora. She performs regularly as a vocalist in the soul, folk and jazz idioms, and, as a doctoral candidate in African Studies and Art History at Harvard, continues to chip away at her dissertation on the first generation of black South African photojournalists under Apartheid.