Lindsay Adams: meet the artist reframing Black identity
Ahead of her debut show at the Eaton hotel in Washington D.C., Soho House talks to the creative about expanding representation in the exclusive world of portrait painting
Friday 29 April 2022 By Lana Jackson
Lindsay Adams uses painting as a means to express her intersectional identity as a Black and disabled woman. In her upcoming inaugural solo exhibition, Two Things Can Be True, the artist challenges narratives of both race and representation, while diving into a deep self-expression. Read on for more of Adams’ inspiration.
What was your inspiration for this show?
‘Two Things Can Be True is based on the nuance and duality that exists in our human condition. The title is an idiom denoting the complexity of existence captured in my show. By the juxtaposition of figures and florals, I’ve created space for both kinds of work to exist together, within the same story. The collection for Eaton evokes a powerful and expansive self-examination, as well as a constant consideration of the notion of existing as more than one thing, acknowledging that Blackness, my sense of self and my art are not a monolith.
‘I also drew a lot from memory, literature, and research. I created my floral landscapes and still-lives from places and times reflective of home, travel, and my ancestral connection to land. My grandparents are from Bedford and Front Royal, both in Virginia. In many ways, land and nature are a part of a complex conversation within the Black experience in this country and I wanted my first show to communicate this profound truth.’
How do you make space to take care of yourself so that you have the energy to create?
‘Time management and planning are essential to both my art practice, self-care, and self-preservation. Meditation, journaling, exercise, reading, and even taking time to engage in lectures are all ways in which give myself space to move freely, and check in with myself mentally and emotionally. Prioritising self-care is essential.’
How are you bringing your full self to your work?
‘I often paint portraits of Black, female figures – real and imagined, drawing inspiration from family, friends, and found photography. My subjects are a reflection and extension of self, where I challenge the narratives of both race and representation while questioning my own feelings of otherness and exclusion. I bring my full self to my practice by embracing my personal intersectional identity as a Black and disabled woman, interrogating that complexity from both a psychological and sociological sense.’