Curated by Alie Jones and Toshia Cristal, Unbound Roots was the third exhibition of SOMArts’ 2019-20 Curatorial Residency season. Installed and scheduled to open just before the shelter in place ordinance in March 2020, this video was produced by SOMArts to give you a virtual glimpse of the exhibition.
Unbound Roots is a multidisciplinary exhibition that underscores the importance of Black wellness and healing practices in the current social-political climate. As ‘wellness’ becomes an increasingly commodified, luxury-industry, Unbound Roots affirms that healing has always existed within the Black community as a journey toward self-compassion and an act of collective perseverance.
“As the universe provides us with everything we need to heal ourselves, the most important task is in this life is absorbing knowledge, application of such and the reciprocation of that wisdom,” expresses Toshia Christal
The exhibition explores the themes of acceptance, pleasure, and liberation encouraging individual awareness and generational healing.
Acceptance: Acceptance refers to self-acceptance, the collective, and the necessary healing of the African diaspora community.
Pleasure: Artwork focusing on Pleasure center family traditions, stigmas around mental health, and relationships with sex and food.
Liberation: Liberation explores manifestation practices, reflects on seeds of resistance, and unpacks structural and historical blockages.
Jones and Christal affirm that healing practices are grounded in ancestral lineages, nature, and meaningful relationships, challenging dominant market-driven narratives of wellness. By evoking the metaphor of the tree to explore and expand discussions on intergenerational healing, Unbound Roots holds space for Black community members who have been conditioned to believe that healing was not for them.
“I’m inspired by connectivity in nature. My passion is creating space where we reframe self care as community, not an isolated experience. I would like to encourage attendees to embrace curiosity, get out of their own boxes, and learn something new,” shares Alie Jones.