WYN: Child of God
Sheyi Bankale’s work brings together different trans-narratives that revolve around the tangible medium of photography as object and the evocative realm of the written word. Within this installation is a nod extended to the extraordinary abstract expressionist painter Alvin Loving, renowned for his intricate fabric constructions and expansive paper collages that intricately delve into the nuances of colour relationships. Anchored in this context, Bankale shapes a trans-narrative through the rendering of 12-inch vinyl music record boxes. This construct not only serves as a vessel for music but also acts as an emblematic conduit that leaves an indelible imprint on the rich tapestry of Black culture. The interplay between Black culture, music, and spirituality is labyrinthine, influenced by a convergence of historical, cultural, and social lines.
This work is rooted in spirituality, Black cultural trajectory has been indelibly shaped by the crucible of historical experiences interpreted and incorporated in ways that resonate with the narrative of aspiration and hope. Spirituality, became a sanctuary of solace, a nexus of community cohesion, and a reservoir of resistance, thereby forming a nucleus of fortitude and faith that resounds with resolute absolutism. In Bible proverbs, the phrase “child of destiny” harmonises with a spiritual ethos that exalts divine purpose and fated trajectories. This sentiment further radiates across a broader spiritual tapestry, where the metaphorical and spiritual embodiment of the term extends to the nomenclature of Destiny’s Child—an iconic R&B girl group that gained prominence in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Comprising members Beyoncé Knowles, Kelly Rowland, LeToya Luckett, and LaTavia Roberson, the group’s appellation evokes the notion of predestination and the predetermined paths carved by divine guidance.
Central to the work is an inherent ability for the audience to extend beyond the realm of the passive observer, and engage with the installation on a tactile level. The installation is a dynamic tableau, where the arranged vinyl music record boxes act as both purpose and trajectories for transformation that transcends the confines of traditional artistic engagement, offering the audience the agency to reposition, realign, and reshape the boxes according to their interpretation.
As the audience interplay with the installation, these reconfigured arrangements orchestrate a harmonious dance between predestination and the predetermined paths. The installation thus evolves organically, culminating in an entirely new and uncharted body of work embodying a fluidity that mirrors the diverse tapestry of aspiration and hope.