BRIC Announces Fall Project Room Exhibition Sophia-Yemisi Adeyemo-Ross: Earth & Iron: Archival Visions of Land and Struggle


Elisa Smilovitz / 551.486.3273 / [email protected]
James Michael Nichols, BRIC / 718.683.5980 /[email protected]


BRIC Announces Fall Project Room ExhibitionSophia-Yemisi Adeyemo: Earth & Iron: Archival Visions of Land and Struggle

Images of Black and Indigenous agricultural labor are repurposed, creating a counter-narrative that blends fiction and history to present an alternative future

On View: September 22 – December 23, 2022

Ginger Root Golden Hour (An Ode to Protection), 2022, Acrylic, watercolor, paper, 15.5×20 inches. Courtesy of the Artist and BRIC. Photo Credit: Sebastian Bach

(BROOKLYN, NY — July 27, 2022) — BRIC, a leading, multi-disciplinary arts and media institution anchored in downtown Brooklyn, is pleased to present Sophia-Yemisi Adeyemo: Earth & Iron: Archival Visions of Land and Struggle. The artist’s first solo exhibition, Earth & Iron: Archival Visions of Land and Struggle, is on view at BRIC House (647 Fulton St) in the Project Room from September 22 to December 23, 2022, with an opening reception on Wednesday, September 21, from 7:00 – 9:00 pm. To attend the opening reception, please RSVP.

Earth & Iron: Archival Visions of Land and Struggle features new works created during Adeyemo’s 2021-22 BRIClab: Contemporary Art residency program. Earth & Iron: Archival Visions of Land and Struggle brings together past and present notions of revolution, liberation, and land sovereignty. With painted and collaged images based on early twentieth-century colonial photography taken in West Africa and the Caribbean, Adeyemo reaches into the past to envision alternative futures.

Adeyemo understands the act of painting, cutting, and pasting as an opportunity to restructure Black and Indigenous relationships to land and labor. Responding to increasingly corporatized food systems and to the ongoing exploitation of ancestral lands, her works on paper offer moments of collective resistance and restoration. Adeyemo honors the wisdom of the natural world and the long Indigenous history of communal farming, herbalist practices, and labor through careful illustrations of cacao, ginger root, collards, okra, bananas, aloe vera, kalanchoe pinnata, maize, and moringa tree. Men, women, and children wield daggers, machetes, and rifles, tools, and symbols of resistance and their care for one another. These scenes often extend past the picture plane, inviting viewers to consider what it means to be fierce yet gentle, to reconnect the land and body, and to exist between the past and present. Restoring these ancestral practices through archival visions is, in the artist’s words, “an exercise in Black fugitivity, tenderness, and collectivity” and a meditation on what once was and what could be.

Earth & Iron: Archival Visions of Land and Struggle is curated by BRIC Curatorial Associate Maria McCarthy. The exhibition will be on view during the same exhibition cycle as Rodrigo Valenzuela: New Works for a Post Worker’s World, curated by BRIC Chief Curator Elizabeth Ferrer, in BRIC’s Contemporary Art Gallery.

Maria McCarthy, BRIC Curatorial Associate, Contemporary Art, said:

“Supporting emerging artists is at the heart of everything we do at BRIC. We are honored to present Sophia-Yemisi Adeyemo’s first solo exhibition and highlight the work she’s made as a BRIClab artist-in-residence. Her vivid painted collages are visions of Black and Indigenous resistance, revolution, and liberation that ask us to go beyond colonial histories and re-imagine diasporic futures.”

Sophia-Yemisi Adeyemo (she/her) is a 2021-22 BRIClab: Contemporary Art resident. Adeyemo was also an artist-in-residence at Lazuli Residency and at the New York Academy of Art. Her work has been shown at Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York, NY; Jan

Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art, Davis, CA; and Office & Gallery, Los Angeles, CA. She is a second-round finalist for The Bennett Prize. Adeyemo received her BFA in Painting from the Rhode Island School of Design.

BRIC’s Contemporary Art program benefits from generous private funding from the Auchincloss Foundation, the Ford Foundation, Harold and Colene Brown Family Foundation, Robert Lehman Foundation, TD Charitable Foundation, and numerous individual supporters. Public support is provided by The New York State Council on the Arts, and The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the New York City Council.

General support for BRIC is provided by Bloomberg Philanthropies, M&T Charitable Foundation, Scherman Foundation, Tiger Baron Foundation, and individual donors.


BRIClab: Contemporary Art is a year-long residency program that offers emerging and mid-career artists studio space, mentorship, and curatorial support to develop their projects. Previously known as BRICworkspace, the program has provided free studio space to local artists since 2014. Each year, a BRIClab: Contemporary Art resident is selected for a fall Project Room solo exhibition. To learn more about the BRIClab: Contemporary Art program, visit bricartsmedia.org/briclab-contemporary-art.

is a leading arts and media institution anchored in Downtown Brooklyn whose work spans contemporary visual and performing arts, media, and civic action. For over forty years, BRIC has shaped Brooklyn’s cultural and media landscape by presenting and incubating artists, creators, students, and media makers. As a creative catalyst for our community, we ignite learning in people of all ages and centralize diverse voices that take risks and drive culture forward. BRIC is building Brooklyn’s creative future. Learn more at bricartsmedia.org.

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