Felandus Thames creates vessels able to contain beauty and trauma at an equilibrium. His work functions in the way that Black music is endowed by, but not the sum of, Black joy, pain, and suffering. Thames is invested in the residue of memory decoupled from nostalgia or narrative. Material choices, never superficial, become central actors in his practice and often function as surrogates to contested histories and lived experiences of those who consume them. Materials are the repository of history and memory in his practice.
Image: Felandus Thames, African King of Dubious Origins #6, 2022. Hair beads on coated wire and aluminum rod. 48 x 78.25 x 4 in. Courtesy of the artist.