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Cornelius Tulloch, Raft of Samaaka, 2024, oil on canvas and mixed media collage, diptych, overall: 60 x 80 inches (152 x 203 cm)

Cornelius Tulloch

Angisa: a language of living

Exhibition: July 11th, - August 16th, 2024

Wednesday - Saturday, 11am - 6pm

800 NW 22nd Street, Miami, FL 33127

“From the lush landscapes of Suriname, a secret language emerges. A cultural codex existing between adornment, wisdom, and satire. The Angisa, a cultural headkerchief worn by Afro-Suriname’s women, was a starting point for cultivating a deeper conversation of how we communicate the multilayered experiences of creolized cultures. Existing between various ancestral identities and cultural influences, while being in the landscape of South America, Suriname proves to be a collage of culture, place, and being. During his 2023 residency in Suriname with Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Institute (DVCAI), Tulloch explored the material and immaterial cultures of Suriname through craft, landscape, and storytelling. He explores his own relationship to these cultures and the connections they weave across geographical borders and territories, creating a transatlantic codex of visual communication. Through camouflaging and masking figures within the natural environment, Tulloch creates parallels between Marronage and Masquerade as tools of preservation and protection. 

Land has memory, but how do we keep record of that? Where do we embed our stories to teach the next generation the relationship to the natural world? What do the visual and architectural languages of these archived histories look like in future expressions? These are the questions Tulloch explores in this new series of paintings, collage, and visual imagery.”

– Cornelius Tulloch 


While Tulloch’s work is informed by his experiences in Suriname, he expounds upon – and narrates – this with acute art historical references, deft painting, and an expansion upon his UV printing and screen-printing practice. All of the imagery in the show stems from Tulloch’s archive of photography from his travels. The Raft of Samaaka features a solitary figure stooped over in a canoe, the viewer observing between an opening of trees on the shoreline. The body of water is UV printed, as are the surrounding trees. Yet, with the trees Tulloch introduces cold wax and other mixed media, thereby heightening the dimensionality of the trees and pulling them into direct relation with our protagonist, as the scene softly fades in the distance. The largest work in the show, The Raft of Samaaka engages in dialogue with Peter Doig’s canoe paintings, Tulloch bringing into lived reality the Magical Realism of his contemporary precursor. 


Tulloch has fostered personal relationships with the individuals he has portrayed in this series, allowing him to photograph them in unguarded moments. These photographs subsequently became the source material for his portraiture. In KURT, Picks of Pikin, Intertwined, Embrace, and Forest Teller, Tulloch intentionally blends his central figures with their surroundings in a manner that still allows for their individuality to carry through. While at times partially obscured, the portrait sitters are hidden with elements of their own choosing, whether it be a floral bouquet, the surrounding brush, or a headpiece. As the figures are concealed, so too are the varying forms of media production. Tulloch’s pushing of the bounds of screen-printing calls to mind the work of Njideka Akunyili Crosby, who embeds familial histories and cultural narratives in the garments of herself and her familiars; Tulloch does so with the Agnisa which are exhibited. Tulloch’s familiars are embraced by their environments, uplifted while simultaneously protected. 

Building off of Tulloch’s architectural background and penchant for installation, Angisa: a language of living features decorative moldings, a multi-part sublimation printed tapestry, and Angisas which hang from above. The wood carvings symbolize the melding of culture found within Suriname, with the material grounded in the Maroon community and its ornamentation steeped in the Dutch influence of the country’s colonial history. The imagery in the tapestry is taken from Tulloch’s journey from Paramaribo, the Surinamese capital, to Pikin Slee, the Maroon village within the jungle where he spent several nights during his residency. Tulloch bestows the works throughout the exhibition with the color and light that he found during his travels, capturing the atmosphere and spirit of these communities. 

Cornelius Tulloch_Angisa- a language of living _Installation 1_Photography courtesy of Zac

Installation photography courtesy of Zachary Balber

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