Tsedaye Makonnen is a multidisciplinary artist who exhibits internationally. Her primary focus is on countries within the Americas and African continent. She explores her hyphenated identity as a daughter of Ethiopian immigrants and a black American woman through her studio and research-based practice. Her approach attempts to convey the African Diaspora's response to forced migration and the effort to recreate the Self within new territories. Other threads that show up in her work are birth, femmehood, matriarchy, the medical industrial complex and colorism. Her role as a mother and former doula are instrumental in her visual language as well. She is currently one of the 2019 Smithsonian Artist Research Fellows, recipient of the DC Oral History Collaborative grant and DC Public Library’s Maker-in-Residence 2018-2019. She just completed the month-long Savage-Lewis Artist Residency at Martha’s Vineyard this Summer with Ayana Evans. They exhibited a multimedia installation of their work, performed and gave an artist talk during Art on the Vine in August 2019. Further, she has performed at the Venice Biennale, Art Basel Miami, Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, El Museo del Barrio, Pratt Film Institute, Queens Museum, Festival International d’Art Performance in Martinique, Chale Wote Street Art Festival in Ghana, Fendika Cultural Center in Ethiopia and more. The summer of 2018 she completed a sculpture residency with her mentor El Anatsui at his studio in Nsukka, Nigeria. Tsedaye has created a new light sculpture titled Aberash, meaning ‘You Give Light’, a ten foot tall monument dedicated to black women and girls who have died at the hands of state sanctioned violence in the United States or while seeking refuge across the Mediterranean Sea. It was recently exhibited at the National Gallery of Art and the August Wilson Center. She is currently taking part in speaking engagements across the country connecting migration and intersectional feminism. This Fall Tsedaye has an upcoming solo show expanding on her work with light sculptures.
Ready for my NYTimes Review | Image shot by Ayana Evans | Shearer Cottage, Martha’s Vineyard 2019 | All Rights Reserved