Adejoke Tugbiyele: Hybrid Spirit

The Melrose Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa
15 Oct 2020 - 15 Nov 2020

Adejoke Tugbiyele, Hybrid Spirit, photography by Clint Strydom

Adejoke Tugbiyele, Hybrid Spirit, photography by Clint Strydom

Adejoke Tugbiyele’s much anticipated solo exhibition titled ‘Hybrid Spirit’ launches at The Melrose Gallery, in Johannesburg, on the 15 October and runs until 15 November 2020.

The exhibition, curated by Ruzy Rusike, includes several sculptures created from grass brooms, 2 dimensional mixed media works, photography and videos of Adejoke performing in costume. An engaging talks programme has been planned to accompany the exhibition featuring invited guests from the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Brooklyn Museum, Museum of Arts and Design (MAD), curators, academics and activists.

« By simplifying, I was able to focus my energy (in Yoruba – ase) towards greater awareness of formal and material possibilities, including scale. Furthermore, I continued to explore performance in costume to understand the visual language(s) my body speaks – hybrid, androgynous and spontaneous gestures with improvisation. By doing so, I could free myself from historical and cultural “othering.” I could become whole unto myself, regardless of identity. », says the artist about his work.

Adejoke Tugbiyele was born in 1977 in Brooklyn, NY and moved to Lagos, Nigeria at the age of three. She returned to New York going on to study architecture at the prestigious High School of Art & Design with internships at The Central Park Conservancy and art studies at The Cooper Union (Summer Program) in Manhattan. In 2002, she received a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Architecture from the New Jersey Institute of Technology, New Jersey School of Architecture (now Hillier College of Art & Design) and a Masters of Fine Art (MFA) in Sculpture from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2013.
The works in the show HYBRID SPIRIT were produced during a time of intense immersion, personal and artistic challenge to confront the unknown, as well as to push the boundaries of my primary material – traditional African brooms – in exploration of the (human/female/hybrid) figure. They combine to form a new poetic aesthetic, which departs from previous works in their minimalism. They embody a power in their simplicity.