Unaccustomed Earth at Show Up

by | Dec 21, 2023 | Blog post

Unaccustomed Earth, a two-artist show that runs through January 14, 2024 at Show Up (formally Beacon Gallery), and features the work of Emily Rose and Beatriz Whitehill. This exhibition honors Jhumpa Lahiri’s book of the same title which is inspired by a quote by Nathaniel Hawthorne about the resilience of people who move from place to place. 

Lahiri’s book features vignettes of Bengali families in America maintaining some cultural traditions and reinventing others. This exhibition parallels that practice as each artist from the Caribbean diaspora illustrates the many ways they keep and reinvent cultural traditions through their own unique visual languages.

This group exhibition is organized into vignettes, similar to the novel. The two artists, working in a variety of media, reinforce the notion that there is no single answer for how one may learn to flourish in their unaccustomed earth. In painting, sculpture, and animation, each artist grapples with their position as storytellers, and forbearers of family culture and artistry all while exploring their diasporic identity in a way that is surreal, dream-like, and sometimes chaotic. The tone is magical realist, dissonant, comforting, and dreamlike.

Installation by Emily Rose. Photo Credit: Sian Michael. 

Beatriz Whitehill, Sobre la mesa, lo que sobró 24 x 20 in., oil and mixed media on canvas