DEANIO X: SYMPHONY OF STORMS
September 23 - November 18, 2023
Marlborough London is pleased to announce 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.
Beyond historical references, Deanio embraces the energetic flow of water as a life-enabling force in his painting technique. By dripping water over paint-covered surface areas, he 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.