The Breeder is pleased to present The Elephant in the Room by Joy Labinjo’s – the London-based artist’s first solo exhibition in Athens that marks the close of her participation in The Breeder Open Studio. The artist began this new body of work, during the pandemic lockdown in the UK as mass protests around the Black Lives Matter movement surged around the world. The show presents new paintings alongside works on paper made in Athens. The exhibition furthers the artist’s explorations around existing interests which include but not limited to discourses and narratives around Blackness, identity, political voice, race, community and family.
Her large-scale figurative paintings often depict intimate scenes of historical and contemporary life – real and imagined, both domestic and everyday – often based on figures appearing in personal imagery that include her everyday life and people around her, family photographs, found images and archival material. Her work presents fresh and arresting compositions of colour, pattern and motifs – key signatures of Labinjo’s work. Fundamentally, at the heart of Labinjo’s practice is a bold interest in storytelling and ultimately, people’s lives.
Exploring multiple modes of representation including abstraction, naturalism, flatness and graphic patterns, Labinjo’s ‘collage aesthetic’ comprises an eclectic visual vocabulary and mixed painterly techniques which echo her experience of multiple identities – growing up Black, British, Nigerian in the 90s and early 00s.
Joy Labinjo (b.1994) lives and works in London. A graduate of the University of Newcastle, she won the Woon Art Prize in 2017. She begins a MFA at the Ruskin School of Art at the University of Oxford in Oct 2020.
Her work is in the collection of the Musée d’Art Contemporain Africain Al Maaden, Marrakesh, Morocco and the Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minnesota MN, USA and The Government Art Collection, UK.
Selected solo exhibitions include in 2019 – Our Histories Cling To Us at Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead; 2018 – Recollections at Tiwani Contemporary, London. Her work is included in the forthcoming 2020 Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy, London.
Prior to this exhibition Joy Labinjo participated in The Breeder Open Studio. She set up a studio inside the gallery which is open by appointment and worked onsite so that visitors can 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.