Emerging British-Nigerian artist Joy Labinjo at Morley Gallery

In January 2018 Morley Gallery launches its new programme, with a solo exhibition by emerging painter Joy Labinjo. Labinjo is the recent recipient of one of the most prestigious graduate art prizes in the UK, the Woon Foundation Prize, jointly hosted by BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and Northumbria University.  

Labinjo’s paintings draw on her British-Nigerian heritage and examine the complex relationship between identity, race and culture. In Belonging, Labinjo invites the viewer to step into large-scale canvases saturated with colours, patterns and people, reconfigured from her family photograph albums. She scrutinises and dissects these junctures of belonging from photographs of special occasions to informal no-filter snapshots. In doing this, Labinjo simultaneously connects with personal histories and uproots them, freeing and displacing individuals from a collective narrative, to create a new space of multiple histories and representations.

The exhibition will also feature a reading room supported by Iniva’s Stuart Hall Library, where visitors can explore the themes of exhibition further.

This exhibition marks the start of a new direction for Morley Gallery. Alongside continuing to showcase the work of Morley College London students, the gallery will commission and curate a public programme that aims to challenge the status quo, encouraging reflection and debate on our increasingly complex times.  

In 2018, Morley Gallery will showcase the work of three diverse female artists. This programme begins with Joy Labinjo’s Belonging. Following this in July is a new commission by Turner Prize-winning artist Elizabeth Price. In October, the gallery will exhibit the first solo show by acclaimed writer Sara Baume, whose most recent novel A Line Made By Walking is shortlisted for the 2017 Goldsmiths Prize for Fiction.

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