Jasmine Nyende
Crested Crane

September 28 - December 14, 2019

Opening Reception
Saturday, September 28, 2019
6 - 9 pm


AA|LA is pleased to present Crested Crane, a solo exhibition by Jasmine Nyende. Through conversation, meditation, and rediscovery of “lost pasts,” Nyende uses art to explore and mediate her mother’s southern American roots and her father’s Ugandan genealogy. Incorporating paintings, fiber arts, performance, poetry, meditation, spoken word, and embroidered ready-to-wear clothes, Nyende manifests an alluring confluence of body, identity, and ancestry.

Crested Crane materializes through Nyende’s use of fibers and manifests a particular mending of personal identity that echoes throughout the body of work. For Nyende, art is a way to speak to ancestors while asserting her own individuality. Specifically, the crocheted and knitted works relate to the American history of Black female labor in the fiber arts. The web of soft textiles act as connective tissue, binding the vibrant images and colorways into a complex yet comprehensive family narrative that would otherwise be inaccessible. 

Inspired by stories drawn from her father’s life and the Ugandan flag, Nyende reimagines the crested crane in various forms that emphasize its esteemed resilience and beauty. This national symbol acts as an entry point into a larger reflection on semiotics and personal history. Her artistic process allows her to reconcile disparate identities of Blackness, providing a foundation for her own understanding of home.

In conjunction with the physical installation of Crested Crane, AA|LA will host a series of performances, workshops, and lectures organized by Nyende. The opening reception will feature a reading of Nyende’s writings about each work, simultaneously producing remnants that will be physically integrated into the exhibition. In October, Common Threads, a knitting circle and social justice group, will host a workshop exploring Afro-Fiberism and the reclamation of fiber arts within Black culture. Further programming will be announced throughout the exhibition. 

Several of the artworks are available for commission. These special items will include a spiritual consultation with the artist. Please see list of works for all applicable items.

Jasmine Nyende is an interdisciplinary artist from South Central Los Angeles. Through fiber based textiles, music, performance and writing, she holds care as a time for the body to feel supported within community, in righteous rage in motion, in joy, in honoring of our journeys with ancestors and with each other. She returns her practice to a communal space through weaving, knitting and crochet workshops in her studio and the music of her Black queer femme & them punk band FUCK U PAY US. She is currently writing a craftbook about DIY as a political and healing tool for soothing the soul and creating connection.