Feeling Good Joy Yamusangie @ Now Gallery Exhibition - Recap
Written by Eduardo P.
NOW Gallery on Greenwich Peninsula announces the 2022 Young Artist Commission Feeling Good by Joy Yamusangie. The Young Artist commission, now in its 4th year, is awarded to outstanding rising talents in the fields of visual arts and illustration. Free to view from 24 March – 5 June 2022, Yamusangie invites the viewer to interrogate constructs around identity and celebrate self-expression. The artist conjures up the stylish Feeling Good Jazz club, creating a series of intimate and evocative spaces to inhabit NOW Gallery and immerse the viewer.
The exhibition’s physical space is deliberately contextualised by an accompanying jazz score, revealing deeply personal narratives.
Yamusangie’s coveted works use textural materials to convey a sophisticated and multifarious style which features illustration, collage, painting, and sculptural interventions. Their work often features expressive mark making and the use of deliberate, flat vivid blocks of colour to create figurative renderings.
There will be a piano in the exhibition space which visitors are welcome to play.
“This imaginary club became a vision for me, a space that symbolised gender euphoria and speaks specifically to my own experience with understanding and celebrating my trans identity and my journey with learning music. I was inspired by the main character in the book Trumpet by Jackie Kay which I later learnt was based on the real life story of musician Billy Tipton. Thinking of how music, specifically Jazz, allowed both the fictional character and the real musician Billy to find a home for themselves.” Joy Yamusangie
“The appeal of this exhibition is the subtle dialogue between Joy’s artworks, jazz notes and the vivid, fictional spaces these elements inhabit. The work beautifully chronicles the artist’s personal journey, whilst creating truly emotive spaces that will resonate broadly.” NOW Gallery Curator Kaia Charles
About Joy Yamusangie
Yamusangie’s profoundly autobiographical practice amalgamates bold colours with vibrant self portraiture that functions as a distinct act of self appreciation. Family, memory and community sit at the core of the artist’s practice and Yamusangie uses these elements to explore Congolese diaspora from a highly personal perspective. The artist’s exploration of race, identity and representation stem from a place of intimacy as they investigate socio-political issues within the microcosm of their own community.
The artist’s multifaceted practice experiments with a range of traditional processes such as drawing, film, painting and collaging to produce mixed media pieces. Their previous projects have included a public art installation commissioned by Tate Collectives, the London Borough of Culture award and the cover for the 2021 Penguin edition of C. L. R. James’ Minty Alley. Joy’s work was also selected for the 2021 RA Summer Show. Joy has collaborated with a number of influential brands including Paul Smith and Gucci.