Ma’s House & BIPOC Art Studio in Southampton presents a solo exhibition of new works by December resident artist Jacoub Reyes. The show titled “Point of Reference” will run through January 12. This exhibition features works inspired by found objects throughout Shinnecock Nation. In addition, a large mural installation was unveiled at an opening reception on December 12. Visitors are encouraged to meet Reyes, through December 15, with visits available by appointment.
Reyes is a multi-disciplinary artist based in Florida. He finds and makes materials and tools as part of an experimental aspect of his process. Reyes salvages and transforms found wood to reflect how marginalized and oppressed communities have been cast aside throughout history. With these, he carves detailed large-scale allegorical woodcuts based on the acculturation of the Caribbean and the world at large. Reyes’ focus on colonization and indigenous peoples has led him to unpack his personal history and share a message he hopes prevents historic recurrences.
“Every conversation of oppression, the intersection of religion and activism, how politics have corrupted and yet propelled countries forward in development are all conversations that have echoed throughout time as culture has shifted, albeit sometimes like a pendulum,” said Reyes.
“Point of Reference” features woodblock prints on paper alongside photographs of natural elements found throughout the reservation, as well as the mural installation. The mural is a tribute to the six women of Shinnecock Kelp Farmers, a collection of six multi-generational indigenous women addressing the climate crisis by opening a kelp hatchery. Kelp is essential in combating the erosion of Shinnecock’s shorelines. Erosion caused by climate change and nitrogen sequestration threaten to reduce the Nation’s territory if not stopped.
“Preservation of the native and the indigenous are essential to understanding our ancestral past and our perceived future. The resilience the Shinnecock Nation has displayed to thrive under the pressing colonization, and the effects thereof is a testament that BIPOC individuals must take action or we will all soon erode back into the sea,” stated Reyes.
“With nature as the only tangible thing to grasp, it’s our only point of reference. The earth holds all of our fates, but the spirit survives long past our bodies’ expiration date,” he continued. “I dive into my Taino ancestry; I recognize the shared connection points. There is intentionality directed to honoring the natural and mysticism [spirituality] that surrounds us. Being here as a guest on this land had ripple effects I couldn’t have imagined. I feel kindred.”
Reyes noted that from his first walk around Ma’s House, there was an inherent need for the native organisms and life found to become anthropomorphic. As he studied and researched more through the library offered at the residency, the pull toward intertwining spirit and tangible organism came together. The deep understanding that Mother Earth provides all and the earth offers a bounty to cultivate is essential to the Shinnecock people. This connection shows through their reverence and caretaking of the land.
“I’ve been interested in creating my history. I find natural things useful, usable, and essential to ecosystems. I depict these plants as spirits that rise from the natural world and into the spiritual realm. With this, I allow myself to put a face to the plant. It’s a way for me to understand a bit more about the plant and its uses through interaction, research, and discovery,” said the artist.
For more information, visit mashouse.studio.
Gallery hours are 11 AM to 8 PM, by appointment. For additional information or for an appointment with the artist, contact Jeremy Dennis, 631-566-0486. Ma’s House & BIPOC Art Studio is located at 159 Old Point Road — follow yellow signs.