Press Release: Curatorial Lab IV, Saudade Toxosi's "Divine Order"

Saudade Toxosi, Untitled, 2010, primordial mothers series, acrylic and ink on paper. Image courtesy of artist.

Saudade Toxosi, Untitled, 2010, primordial mothers series, acrylic and ink on paper. Image courtesy of artist.

Negarra A. Kudumu | essayist and curator will present its fourth Curatorial Lab project, Divine Order, by Atlanta-based artist Saudade Toxosi opening October 12 and running through November 18. The works that comprise make visual the domain of spiritual transformational, a pathway that will only be successful if one is prepared to make the necessary sacrifice.

One enters through the sacred forest and along the way encounters the ancestors, the owner of the crossroads, the Mothers, and the high priest. All of these archetypes, mark necessary phases on the journey to rebirth. At each meeting point these entities engage with us, and according to their protocols demand of us offering. They ask of us that which we must subtract in order to become whole again. In return, we are refortified, given the tools for the next phase of the journey.

Toxosi describes her work as schematics charting an “ancient and recent” ontology and in so doing invites investigation into a spectrum of relevant ideological, social, ecological, political and spiritual realities.  These works mark time and place but they are not finite disembarkation points. This voyage is a cyclical one, and each of us must traverse our cycle using the wisdom of our ancestors and universal energy to guide us, despite not knowing the exact way in which the path will manifest.

Divine Order is both a visual passageway, which offers viewers a way to explore spiritual rebirth, ancestor worship, and feminine power, all of which are central tenets of diverse African and African rooted spiritual traditions. As a child of the African Diaspora and an initiated priest of the West African Vodun spiritual tradition, Toxosi knows first hand what it is to be called to this particular task. As an artist, she walks the delicate line of not telling too much while creating a very necessary doorway through which lay people can re-engage their blood's memory and recall the ways of their forebearers.



Saudade Toxosi is an Atlanta-based multimedia artist, and image and sound curator working in painting, charcoal drawings, mixed media, and assemblage. For the last decade, Toxosi has engaged in a meditative curatorial process of selecting and organizing found images that explore and articulate her thoughts about the Black experience in the United States and around the world.

These curatorial image pairings have gone on to garner attention from other artists, filmmakers, and cinematographers, and have informed some the most important visual and narrative statements of our time notably Kahlil Joseph’s "Fly Paper" (2017) and "Lemonade" (2016)and Arthur Jafa’s "Love is the Message and the Message is Death" (2016) where Toxosi worked directly with the filmmakers. In 2015, Toxosi’s photo essay entitled “Wata Dexoxo” - water guardians, portals of the dead" was featured in South African artist Dineo Seshee Bopape's We Need the Memories of All of Our Members exhibition at Hordaland Kunstsenter in Norway.

Toxosi’s work has been featured on the Black Contemporary Art website on Tumblr in 2012 and has contributed to the visual aesthetic of the New York-based Liberator Magazine, in 2010-2011. In July 2011, Rahsaan Patterson commissioned five original artworks that accompanied his album titled “Bleuphoria”. Toxosi has also supported Saiah Arts International by creating two installations for the theatrical experience of Rua Wulf in 2011 at the GoatFarm in Atlanta. She has exhibited and sold paintings by way of the Hammond House Museum auctions held at Mason Fine Arts also in Atlanta, Georgia. In 2009, she collaborated with Muthawit orchestra (aka urbalt) on a live performance at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York. 

Saudade has two forthcoming book illustrations from her short stories published in 2009.  “Sunflowers” and“ A road to oponri and the gift of power” expected in 2018-2019.

Press contact:
Negarra A. Kudumu, Founder
Negarra A. Kudumu | essayist & curator
+1 206 743 1394