Bimbola Akinbola
Grief Island

1224 W Loyola Ave, Chicago IL
June 9, 2024 - July 7, 2024

Open Hours Tuesdays and Wednesdays 4-7 PM
by appointment and announcement 

On Grief Island, you wait.

On Grief Island, nothing exists but your breaking heart.

On Grief Island, time stops and gives into the ebbs and flows of tears, sleep, functional freeze, and occasionally, something like normalcy.

On Grief Island, everything is OK and nothing is OK.

On Grief Island, the sun keeps you warm even though you can’t see it.

On Grief Island, you are always welcome.

With a somber beach scene at its center, Grief Island reimagines and makes tangible the isolation and self-indulgence that arrives in the aftermath of crushing loss.

At the start of 2020, Akinbola began turning her gouache paintings, inspired by family photographs, into weavings. These works seek to expand the affective possibilities of what photographs communicate. In Grief Island, Akinbola expands this body of work, experimenting with the forms of sculpture and installation by attaching woven portraits on canvas to collapsible beach chair frames, which sit on 400 pounds of sand in the middle of the storefront. The inclusion of sentimental items such as a red Coleman cooler from her youth and crushed cans of “Grief Tonic” further contribute to the transformation of the space into a site of grieving and remembering. 

Bimbola Akinbola is an artist, performer, and educator currently based in Chicago. Working at the intersection of theory, performance, and visual art, her scholarly and artistic work is concerned with the complicated and nagging nature of belonging, queerness, and the concept of family. Incorporating a variety of practices ranging from painting, weaving and collage, to durational line dancing, her work explores mark-making and performance as modes of organization, remembrance, and repair.

Bimbola Akinbola’s Postcards From Grief Island | Hyperallergic - July 3, 2024