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Simon Benjamin: A Bolt from the Blue

Submitted on March 26, 2024 - 2:28am
Sycorax (still). Courtesy of the artist
Courtesy of the artist


April 3 – 20, 2024

The Jacob Lawrence Gallery is pleased to present Simon Benjamin: A Bolt from the Blue, created as part of Benjamin's 2024 Jacob Lawrence Legacy Residency organized by Guest Curator Berette S Macaulay. Please join us for the opening reception on Wednesday, April 3, 5-7pm . Free + open to the public, RSVP not required.

A Bolt from the Blue is an exhibition curated as a living space of temporal contemplation. It continues Simon Benjamin’s research of the sea and coastal areas as connected sites of colonial legacy. Through video installation, painting, sculpture, and photography, we are immersed in visual, sound, and material vocabularies that convene relational community histories alongside objects of inquiry.

Part of the gallery will also remain in studio-draft, populated with materials that facilitate contemplation, discovery, and discussion through his lens of the Caribbean archipelago to the coastal and island cultures of the Pacific Northwest.

“The first dark shadow was cast by being wrenched from their everyday, familiar land, away from protecting gods and a tutelary community. But that is nothing yet. Exile can be borne, even when it comes as a bolt from the blue.” ~Edouard Glissant

Film Screenings

“SUNDAY DINNER” – screenings + conversation in community
Sunday, April 7, 4-6pm ​
Wa Na Wari

UNION Projection: FORUM IV (2016)
April 7 – May 15 (Daily, Dusk-11pm)
Woodworth Building on 10th + Union

About the Legacy Resident

Simon Benjamin is a Jamaican multi-disciplinary artist and filmmaker based in New York whose practice considers how the past ripples into the present in unexpected ways. Using the sea and coastal space as frameworks, his current body of work explores how lesser-known histories and colonial legacies impact our present and contribute to an interconnected future. His work has been included in exhibitions and screenings internationally, including Kaunas Biennial, Lithuania (2023),  Baxter St. CCNY, New York NY (2023); documenta 15, Kassel, Germany (2022); Kingston Biennial, National Gallery of Jamaica, Kingston, Jamaica (2022); Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Governor’s Island, NY; Third Horizon film Festival, Miami, FL (2022); trinidad+tobago film festival, Trinidad and Tobago (2021); NYU Gallatin at Governors Island, New York, NY (2021); The 92nd St. Y, New York, NY (2020); Hunter East Harlem Gallery, New York, NY (2019); the Ghetto Biennial, Port Au Prince, Haiti (2018); Jamaica Biennial, National Gallery of Jamaica, Kingston, Jamaica (2017); New Local Space, (NLS) Kingston (2016); and Columbia University, New York, NY (2016).

Learn More: Announcement | Website | Instagram

Made Possible by

The 2024 Jacob Lawrence Legacy Residency program and exhibition is organized by Guest Curator Berette S Macaulay and is made possible with support from this year's program partners: Black Cinema Collective, Burke Museum, Capitol Hill Arts District, Center for Wooden Boats, Friends of Inscape National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), Photographic Center NW, Seattle Office for Arts + Culture, and Wa Na Wari.