Cydne Jasmin Coleby's artwork examines and highlights the ongoing exploitation of black women through the unseen labour they perform around the world. As with much of her personal art practice, she uses mixed media collage to investigate the transformative effects of trauma through a highly personal lens.
Her current solo exhibition at Unit London, curated by Associate Curator at the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas, Natalie Willis, and running until 23 April this year is titled Queen Mudda. A celebration of the women and girls in family lines, it draws on the stories that can be found in her own family archives.
"All black women are Queens," says Willis, who adds that this sensibility is at the heart of the work presented in Queen Mudda, which is Coleby's first solo show in London. The paintings use acrylic paint mixed with substances such as gold ink, crepe paper and sand; and work to transcend their materiality and explore ideas of matriarchy, and celebrate the women who form the under-appreciated backbones of their family lines.
"Performance is the undercurrent of this work: the performance of womanhood, of respectability, of being," Willis adds. "In a world where being is appearing, Coleby offers the matriarchs of her family line the opportunity to appear as elevated as the care they give."
Born in 1993, Cydne Jasmin Coleby is based in Nassau, Bahamas, and works across digital and mixed media collage. She received her art degree at The University of The Bahamas in 2012 and has worked with clients including Adworks, Poinciana Paper Press, Popopstudios International Center for the Visual Arts and The Island House. Outside of her personal art practice, she has also worked in communications and design, serving as the creative art, design and comms manager for The Current: Baha Mar Gallery and Art Center.