Branch Gallery is pleased to present its fall exhibitions, Stacy-Lynn Waddell: water/weight and Kambui Olujimi: The Clouds Are After Me.
Stacy-Lynn Waddell employs fire and metalsmithing tools to brand canvas and paper, creating ethereally scarred surfaces. Her work combines collage, painting, and decoupage to fashion large-scale landscapes and installations that seek to animate the two-dimensional plane by inviting the viewer to wander visually through the spaces she has created as voyagers. Likewise, her smaller works incorporate text, portraiture, and found objects to draw a visual map of the complexities of American history and experience.
Waddell’s first solo exhibition at Branch Gallery, water/weight traces the journey of a girl who finds herself at the bottom of the ocean. As Waddell states, “Our crafty protagonist creates a world inside of the vast watery surroundings of the deep sea. A wall of gigantic tears lays bear her thoughts about how she may have arrived in this predicament and discovered artifacts suggest how she spends her time, what she encounters down below as well as her plan to leave this place in search of a new home. She is part pioneer, part prisoner, and part pilgrim.” Whether through reference to the deadly uncertainty of the middle passage or the poetic possibilities of exploration, these works seek to fathom the irrepressible weight of water.
Waddell is based in North Carolina and received her mfa from the University of Chapel Hill, NC. She has exhibited at venues including the John Hope Franklin Center, Duke University, NC; Lump Gallery, NC, The Green Hill Center for North Carolina Art, NC; and the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, NC. Her work will be included in the upcoming exhibition, Art on Paper, at the Weatherspoon Art Museum, NC. Waddell will also be an artist-in-residence at Project Row Houses, Houston, TX, in Spring 2009.
Through a range of media including film, installation, and photography Kambui Olujimi’s work investigates the intersection between what he describes as “mythopoetic potential and the obsolescence of ritual.” Branch is pleased to exhibit his most recent body of work, The Clouds Are After Me, a series of small paintings on vellum. In this new series, Olujimi disrupts the trope of the “wanted poster” by picturing clouds as perpetrators. Deconstructing the posters’ text into three aspects—the suspect, the accusation, and the reward—Olujimi disguises and encodes the posters’ meaning, implicating the viewer in the very act of deciphering the works. Precariously poetic and poised somewhere between concrete verse and plebeian documentation, these richly textured images explore the anxieties and phobias that permeate the public and private sectors of our contemporary American experience. The Clouds Are After Me is a single exhibition of approximately 300 collages dispersed across multiple locations in the US. Other exhibition venues are Meyers Gallery at the University of Cincinnati, OH and Main Gallery, Las Vegas, NV.
Olujimi is based in Brooklyn, NY. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally at venues including the Museum of Modern Art, NY; the Smithsonian Institution, DC; the Studio Museum in Harlem, NY; Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, TX; Museo Nacional Reina Sofia, Madrid and Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Poland. He has lectured at various institutions such as the Goethe Institute Accra, Ghana; the Tisch School of the Arts, NY and the Whitney Museum of American Art, NY.