To view the full extended text, please click HERE
Earthseed is a solo exhibition of recent work by artist-in-residence Tiffany Smith. Working across various media, the site-specific and self-reflexive installation critically engages with strategies for survival sourced from inherited ancestral knowledge, specifically from the Caribbean and its diaspora. Using concepts set forth in Octavia Butler's prophetic novel Parable of the Sower as a guide, the exhibition presents a collection of observations and research on various natural allies and traditional practices that provide care, contribute to survival, and provide resources for moving forward through physically, emotionally, and spiritually challenging realities.
The custom-designed wallpaper anchoring the space features botanical illustrations of plant species that are native to the Caribbean and are commonly used for medicinal purposes. Central to the exhibition is an interactive meditation space designed to resemble both temporary architectural structures commonly found in the islands and temporary dining structures that became commonplace in urban environments during the recent pandemic. Informed by the methodology behind structures that are constructed out of necessity for survival and designed to provide protection from the natural elements, “Semi Permanent Space” is a physical manifestation of the metaphorical structures that are necessary to help us feel grounded, safe, and protected and reminds us of the impermanence, fragility, and inequities attached to those feelings of comfort.
All that you touch
All that you Change
The only lasting truth
From Earthseed: The Books of the Living
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Tiffany Smith is an Interdisciplinary Artist from the Caribbean diaspora working between photography, video, installation, and design to define spaces and experiences that oscillate between the roles of visitor and native and parse the definition of home. Using plant matter, design elements, patterning and costuming as cultural signifiers, Smith creates photographic portraits, site responsive installations, user engaged experiences, and assemblages informed by researching histories of representation, experiences of cultural ambiguity, and themes of displacement. Smith’s practice centers on what forms and defines communities of people of color, in particular; how they are identified and represented, and how they persist. Smith is currently based in Brooklyn, NY, is currently a Co-Director of Ortega y Gasset Projects in Gowanus, Brooklyn, an Artist in Residence with The Bronx Museum, and an upcoming resident artist at TILT Institute for the Contemporary Image in Philadelphia, PA.
Smith received her BFA from S.C.A.D., Savannah, GA and her MFA from SVA, NY. Her work has been exhibited internationally including shows at National Art Gallery of the Bahamas, The Bronx Museum, MassArt, The National Gallery of Jamaica; during Photoville, Photo NOLA, and Spring Break Art Show; and in solo exhibitions at The Wassaic Project, Recess Assembly, Brooklyn, NY, and Montserrat College of Art, Beverly, MA. Tiffany Smith is a 2018 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellow in Interdisciplinary Work from The New York Foundation for the Arts, an EnFoco Photography Fellowship Awardee, a Cameron Visiting Artist at Middlebury College, VT, and a currently teaches at Pratt, Parsons, FIT, and International Center of Photography.
Smith is the recipient of a number of artist residencies and fellowships including The Block Gallery Artist Residency and the Artist in the Marketplace (AIM) program at the Bronx Museum.
CURATORIAL CREDIT & EXHIBITION SUPPORT
Earthseed has been organized by the Bronx Museum’s Education Department, and is made possible by the generous support of Martin Weinstein and Tereza Liszka, Debbie Rechtler, Cher Lewis, Friends of AIM, SRI Fine Art Services, the Jerome Foundation, Pollock-Krasner Foundation, and the Miranda Family Fund. Additional support of the AIM artist residency is provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The New York Community Trust, William Talbott Hillman Foundation, Oded Halahmy Foundation for the Arts, Inc., Joshua Stein PLLC, and Gerald Weinstein.