Art in Dumbo Logo
Loading Events
Simonette Quamina, Confirmation in Victoria’s Regia, 2018.

September 25–November 7

Simonette Quamina: Canboulay

at Smack Mellon

Simonette Quamina’s practice is rooted in the intersection between family, agricultural histories, and sociopolitical events that have shaped global migration and labor. Growing up between Canada, Guyana, St. Vincent, and the United States, the artist explores ideas of belonging through intimate scenes from her family’s history in natural settings and domestic interiors. The title Canboulay refers to the Caribbean celebration stemming from the Trinidad slave rebellion, as well as the burning of sugarcane fields. The term comes from the French canne brulee, meaning “burnt cane.” Sugarcane fields were periodically burnt as a form of pesticide maintenance, the offshoot of which produces a fine, black pollutant known locally as “black snow.”

For this exhibition, Quamina accesses the joyous aspects of Canboulay through the dark recesses of the celebration’s history. She combines art historical imagery from Millet’s melancholic Ophelia with family stories and connects legacies of sugar production in the Caribbean to its role in sustaining slavery in the region. The narrative in this series picks up from another recent work entitled dutty tuff: omens of things to come (2021) depicting her grandfather laboring in the brush of sugarcane fields in Guyana as a child. In this piece, the young figure tugs at the sugarcane reeds, as if attempting to physically remove the crop’s connection to systemic exploitation.

Each large work in the exhibition is an immersive wall-sized visual horizon. The series borrows the methodological framework of a caesura, which describes a break in a poem. In an intrinsic relationship to writing, the break separates elements of the stories into the vignettes of the individual works. The artist’s use of the break also exists within each work, through the cuts, rips, and abstracted layers that collage the paper into whole scenes. Quamina collapses the socioeconomic ramifications of sugarcane, familial subjugation, and material histories into the complex, dark surfaces of the works. She uses a sophisticated variety of collage and printmaking techniques, including woodcut, collograph, embossed print, China Colle and silk aquatint—a process where the artist layers mesh and acrylic in order to hold the ink. Her works employ graphite for drawing as well as the base for her printmaking inks, using the material’s full spectrum of saturation and reflective qualities, producing rich, nuanced spaces.

Smack Mellon

92 Plymouth Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201 United States

Open: Wed–Sun, 12–6 PM

Get Directions

Nearby

  1. Exhibitions

    Fragments and Resilience

    Superfine

    October 7November 28
  2. Exhibitions

    Curran Hatleberg

    Higher Pictures Generation

    October 2November 13
  3. Exhibitions

    Robert Swain: Immersive Color

    Minus Space

    September 11November 20
  4. Exhibitions

    Travers 2021

    Usagi NY

    September 30November 11

1. Opening Reception

Opening Reception: Canboulay and Between Wounds and Folds

September 25, 4:00 PM–7:00 PM

Smack Mellon

Open: Wed–Sun, 12–6 PM

View in map

2. Screening

Light Year 78: Dream On...Dream Of.

October 7, 7:00 PM–10:00 PM

Pearl Street Triangle

Open: 24 Hours

View in map

3. Special Event

Artist-Led Tours: Canboulay and Between Wounds and Folds

October 9, 3:00 PM–4:30 PM

Smack Mellon

Open: Wed–Sun, 12–6 PM

View in map

4. Closing Reception

Closing Reception: Canboulay and Between Wounds and Folds

November 7, 12:00 PM–6:00 PM

Smack Mellon

Open: Wed–Sun, 12–6 PM

View in map

5. Exhibitions

Cultivando Sueños

July 24–October 23

Cuban Art Space

Open: Mon–Fri, 1–6 PM (By Appt.); Sat, 12–6 PM

View in map

6. Exhibitions

Claudia Wieser: Rehearsal

July 29 2021–April 17 2022

Main Street Park

View in map

7. Exhibitions

Daria Dorosh: Cosmologies

September 10–October 10

A.I.R. Gallery

Open: Wed–Sun, 12–6 PM

View in map

8. Exhibitions

Mimi Oritsky: Above and Below

September 10–October 10

A.I.R. Gallery

Open: Wed–Sun, 12–6 PM

View in map

9. Exhibitions

Destiny Belgrave: where they go & what they leave

September 10–October 10

A.I.R. Gallery

Open: Wed–Sun, 12–6 PM

View in map

10. Exhibitions

Neil Winokur: Produce

September 11–October 20

Janet Borden, Inc.

Open: Tues–Sat, 11 AM–5 PM

View in map

11. Exhibitions

Robert Swain: Immersive Color

September 11–November 20

Minus Space

Open: By Appt. & Sat, 11 AM–5 PM

View in map

12. Exhibitions

Fresh Annual Photography Exhibition

September 15–October 30

Klompching Gallery

Open: Tues–Fri, By Appt.; Sat, 11 AM–5 PM

View in map

13. Exhibitions

Walk the Line

September 17–October 18

Platform Project Space

Open: Fri–Sat, 12–6 PM

View in map

14. Exhibitions

Photoville 2021

September 18–December 1

Brooklyn Bridge Park

Open: 6 AM–1 AM; Special Hours for Pier 2/5/6, Squibb Park & Bridge, Education Center, & Playgrounds

View in map

15. Exhibitions

un/mute

September 22–November 21

Undercurrent

Open: Thurs–Sun, 1–7 PM

View in map

16. Exhibitions

Shimmers

September 23–November 18

Main Window

Open: 24 Hours

View in map

17. Exhibitions

Tamara Kostianovsky: Between Wounds and Folds

September 25–November 7

Smack Mellon

Open: Wed–Sun, 12–6 PM

View in map

18. Exhibitions

Simonette Quamina: Canboulay

September 25–November 7

Smack Mellon

Open: Wed–Sun, 12–6 PM

View in map

19. Exhibitions

Travers 2021

September 30–November 11

Usagi NY

Open: Mon–Fri, 10 AM–4 PM

View in map

20. Exhibitions

Curran Hatleberg

October 2–November 13

Higher Pictures Generation

Open: Mon (By Appt.); Tues–Sat, 11 AM–6 PM

View in map

21. Exhibitions

Fragments and Resilience

October 7–November 28

Superfine

Open: Tues, 2–10 PM; Wed–Sat, 12–10 PM; Sun, 11 AM–10 PM

View in map

First Thursday Gallery Walk

The first Thursday of every month, the galleries of DUMBO stay open late, hosting special events and receptions. Neighborhood restaurants and bars have specials for First Thursday patrons.

Learn More