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Dancing In The Ellipsis // A Cartographer’s Black Hole Rohan Ayinde

10 May-29 Jul 2022

Come and see Rohan Ayinde's exhibition in the Stuart Hall Library from 10 May – 29 July 2022

iniva (Institute of International Visual Arts) are pleased to present Dancing In The Ellipsis // A Cartographer’s Black Hole, a site-specific installation at iniva’s Stuart Hall Library showcasing the work of artist Rohan Ayinde.  

On display is a series of five drawings and three photographs hung in between bookshelves, on walls, and in the informal library area, audiences can listen to a call and response song created in collaboration with Ayinde and musical artist Hector Plimmer, which weaves together music and poetry. This exhibition highlights the multidisciplinary processes within Ayinde’s practice of drawing, sound, photography, performance, sculpture, which is also accompanied by a limited edition pamphlet featuring poetry and text by Ayinde which explores the artist’s research whilst in residence at the Stuart Hall Library in 2021. 

The works in this exhibition are manifestations of Ayinde’s investigations into his own identity as a black man living in the UK, who is from Guyana via Africa but has lived almost a third of his life in the USA. Within this entangled personal history, Ayinde explores his self as a translation of the many contexts and places he has belonged to. He relates this to his work within abstraction as an expression of blackness, home, and place. 

The works in the exhibition are for sale. See price list below.

This exhibition was supported by Stuart Hall Foundation, Freelands Foundation and Arts Council England.


Rohan Ayinde is an interdisciplinary artist based between London and Chicago. His work is centered around creating otherwise potentials (Ashon Crawley), and in so doing breaking down and simultaneously reconfiguring the ideological architectures that shape our daily and generational lives. The landscapes his work explores are formed through the lens of a black radical imagination committed to describing freedom as a horizon of possibility. They are an archive of the journey there; maps/scores under continuous construction and refusals to acquiesce to the dominant structures of thought that frame the world we live in. 

Ayinde’s work oscillates between abstract drawings, audio-visual poetry, photography, performance and sculpture, and is interested in the ways that abstraction can function as a method for thinking about black radical thought as a form, or a poetics. He talks about his work as being “in a constant negotiation with itself, trying to understand the role it plays in building the worlds it is invested in imagining.” Recently, much of his work has been shaped by a dance around the possibility opened up by the (il)logics of black holes, specifically when read in conversation with the historical and material conditions of blackness. 

Ayinde is one half of the wayward/motile collaborative duo i.as.in.we, with friend/producer/dancer Yewande YoYo Odunubi. He received his BA in Cultural Studies from the University of North Carolina (CH), and his MA in Visual and Critical Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2019). As Gallery Manager for Blanc (Chicago) he has launched an artist residency program, curated solo and group shows, and held space for emerging and established artists in Chicago. 

He was the 2021 Stuart Hall Library Artist-In-Residence, a partnership with the Stuart Hall Foundation.

Image: Rohan Ayinde, Photograph, 2022. Image courtesy of the artist. 


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