Opening Thursday 3 September 2020, 18:00-22:00
the use of face masks inside the gallery is mandatory
Leave the thorns and take the rose
The Breeder Feeder
"In 2019, I wished that the world be put on pause. All I wanted was a moment when humanity would have no choice but to do nothing: No ambitions, no directions, no expectations. In 2020, only days after opening a solo show of drawings with titles such as “Making Out While an Empire Burns” and “The Goddess of Doing Nothing”, my wish was granted. But nothingness and directionless has not been as liberating as one would expect. Letting go is difficult, even if you've asked for it, even if you have someone to make out with. These works are a simple document of a woman living in a fishbowl in Athens, Greece. They are marks recording an attempt to keep her feet on the ground as she watches the world shift. They are mantras she tells herself while trying to embrace the full roundness of earth even when the sense of “home” seems flattened into text messages, emails, and video calls. They are mandalas containing all the varying waves of feelings that arose during this time of upheaval and transition.”
The Breeder is pleased to present Leave the thorns and take the rose Chioma Ebinama’s first solo show in Athens.
Chioma Ebinama (1988, USA) makes figurative watercolors on paper to explore drawing and visual narrative as a meditative practice and tool for self-liberation. Raised in the United States by Nigerian Christian immigrants, she is drawn to the aesthetic of formalized religion for its potential to celebrate inner life. As she seeks to create new mythologies for the African Diaspora, her work is influenced by a myriad of sources, from West African cosmology, to folk art of the global South, to the visual language of Western religion and Eastern spiritual traditions. Also prevalent is her reflection on gender and queer identities through a figurative language influenced by surrealism and her Igbo heritage. The collision of aesthetics is indicative of Ebinama’s nomadic life in recent years as she breaths the air of Mexico, South Korea, India, Malaysia and now Greece.
The exhibition at The Breeder comes at the end of her participation at The Breeder Open Studio, for which she set up a studio inside the gallery which was open by appointment, so that visitors could meet her, discuss her practice and follow the production process. Artists participating in the The Breeder Open Studio have the luxury of time and also the unique opportunity to spend time in the city of Athens and get inspired by its unique heritage and vibrant contemporary scene. Working inside the gallery prior to the exhibition allows the artists to relate to the space differently and gain a deeper connection to the city.
Ebinama has mounted solo exhibitions at Catinca Tabacaru (2018) and Fortnight Institute (2020) in New York City, at Boys’ Quarters Project Space in Port Harcourt, Nigeria (2019). Selected group shows include Never Done: 100 Years of Women in Politics and Beyond, The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY (upcoming); Alien Landscape, 303 Gallery, New York, NY (2020); Ambra Nera, The Breeder, Athens. She is also in the process of illustrating a children’s book written by Kevin Young, poetry editor of The New Yorker and director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, with Make Me A World, an imprint of Random House books curated by artist Christopher Myers.