As We Were: Joy Labinjo

06 April - 04 May

Free & open to all

Joy Labinjo Bloc Documentation-15.jpg

For her exhibition at Bloc Projects, Joy Labinjo will be developing an entirely new body of work that will push her practice as a painter into new territories.

Labinjo’s new body of work continues to pursue recurring themes including identity, the complexity of familial relationships and what it means to immortalise characters through the application of paint. However, this experimental commission will present previously unexplored production methods and conceptual thematics.

Untitled, Joy Labinjo, 2019

Untitled, Joy Labinjo, 2019

The exhibition will provide a starting point to consider current and very pressing conversations around identity, peoples perception of others and how do our collective experiences bring us together or push us apart.

A new text has been commissioned to coincide with the launch of the commission by Philomena Epps, which takes a closer look at the work of Joy Labinjo.

Joy Labinjo was born in 1994 in Dagenham, UK and is currently based in London, UK. Her recent large-scale paintings depict intimate scenes of contemporary family life: a group of people casually lying down on a sofa and chatting after a family gathering, a child and his grand-mother posing together in front of the camera, or stolen moments before the official wedding portrait. Taking inspiration from family photographs, Labinjo transcribes her personal imagery into a bright and vibrant composition of colour and patterns. Having grown up in the UK with British-Nigerian heritage, Labinjo questions our idea of belonging and notion of identity. She invites us to rethink it as more fluid constructions taking into consideration both past and present, personal and collective subjectivities.

Labinjo was awarded the Woon Art Prize in 2017. Recent and forthcoming exhibitions include: Gallery North, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK (2018); Cafe Gallery Projects, London, UK (2018); Bonington Gallery, Nottingham, UK (2018); Goldtapped, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK (2018); Morley Gallery, London, UK (2018); Baltic 39, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK (2017); Hoxton Arches, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK (2017); The Holy Biscuit, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK (2017); FishBowl space, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK (2015); XL Gallery, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK (2013).

This commission has been generously supported by Arts Council England and The Elephant Trust.