Sat 23 Sep 2023 to Sat 18 Nov 2023
Mon-Fri 10am-5.30pm, Sat 10am-4pm
Artist: Deanio X
Marlborough London presents Symphony of Storms, an exhibition of new work by Deanio X.
This body of work was created over the past 10 months following the artist’s residency in Jamaica. Confronting his British and Jamaican heritage, which is enshrouded by the legacies of European colonialism, it reflects the artist’s concerns with the impact of suppressed historic narratives in contemporary society.
The work seeks to visualise the Caribbean beyond the European lens and language. Referencing the original Taíno word for Jamaica, Xaymaca, meaning ‘land of wood and water’, the work responds to the unspoken organic and spiritual elements that enable human experience. The forest also has historical significance in relation to the Jamaican Maroons: men, women and children who resisted enslavement to build enduring communities in mountainous forests. One such figure alluded to throughout this body of work is Queen Nanny, a Jamaican national hero who led the Maroons in guerilla warfare against the British military.
By dripping water over paint-covered surface areas, Deanio introduces an element of chaos; pools of water accrue and respond to gravity and air flow, manoeuvring over the crinkled paper like rivers, redistributing the paint and leaving a surface for new marks to be made. In Deanio’s underwater scenes and landscapes, monumental, abstracted figures emerge from this solution of mixed materials to reassert their place in time and history.
Deanio X’s paintings tell lost stories of resistance through a language of complex historical and visual references, reflecting the various ‘storms’ Jamaica and its people have weathered, the acts of defiance and the voices previously unheard. His work is equally grounded in the harsh realities of today’s legacy of slavery which continues to suppress the communities of the global African diaspora.
Deanio X (b. 1989) graduated from the University of Kent with a degree in American Studies (History & Literature). He has since sought to create visual narratives built from research, observational drawing and imagination to stretch conceptualisations of popular history. Interested in redefining tales that surround the contemporary experience of Africans in Europe and beyond, Deanio X accepted a scholarship to the Royal Drawing School in 2018 to build on his self-developed practice and further explore the transformative potential of visual art. After graduating in 2019, he has since undertaken commissions and work from the Royal Drawing School, the Royal Museum Greenwich and London South Bank University. In 2022 he was awarded the Hanover Grange Jamaica Residency by the Royal Drawing School. In 2023, Deanio X was one of ten artists commissioned by His Majesty The King to create portraits of pioneering members of the Windrush Generation. The project, which marked the 75th anniversary of the arrival of HMT Empire Windrush, was featured in the BBC documentary ‘Windrush: Portraits of a Generation’. The works will be exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery in October 2023.