Opening Hours: Tue-Sat: 10am-12midnight, Sun-Mon: Closed


Sequoia Danielle Barnes: Playthings

Sat 6 July — Sat 27 July 2024

Wheelchair accessible

Wheelchair accessible

A stitching from Useable Several Times, an always ongoing work-in-progress by Sequoia Danielle Barnes

Playthings is an installation that explores the sinister capabilities of cuteness and its ability to propagandise white supremacist ideologies and tropes.

This installation focuses on Sequoia Danielle Barnes’ ongoing visual research developed during her time in residence at Tabakalera (San Sebastian, Spain; November - December 2023). There, Barnes used her creative practice to disseminate her research on 20th century western (Europe and the US) domesticity (the home, the family space, and the decorative markers of childhood), the everyday/mundane, and white supremacist art practices/visual culture, specifically the history of white supremacy being visualized and enacted through play.

To symbolise the overlap between cuteness and oppression, Barnes has deployed large teddy bear-like stuffed toys (recognisable representations of cuteness). Their blank belly areas act as a projection screen á la Teletubbies. On one, a loop of a Robertson’s Golden Shred television commercial, c.1983 animated by Richard Williams, featuring their former (but still very present) Golly mascot plays without sound. On another, a projected visual of a garden meadow.

This installation is also accompanied by the amplified soundscape of Barnes’ stitching. These sounds are nothing like what we think of stitching to be (i.e. quiet and docile). These sounds are disruptive and unsettling; sounds of scratching, crinkling, and puncturing to remind us of the jarring sense of unease that the installation is meant to evoke. There is nothing benign or safe about this space.

With Playthings, Barnes deconstructs the anachronistic-pathological idealisation of racist tropes as representative of an 'innocent' past, a ‘better time’. It interrupts the performative naivety/ignorance around the existence of white supremacy while also dis-articulating these tropes by re-appropriating them into her own practice. This work re-articulates them as examples of the pervasive sinisterness that can be crafted into objects.


Join us for an opening on Friday 5 July, 6pm - 9pm, then open 11am-6pm Tue-Sat.

Artist Bio

I am a textile artist and sculptor who specializes in ceramics/pottery, quilting, soft sculpture, stitching/embroidery, installation, and assemblage. My work often mixes these different genres via the influence of Black Southern Assemblage. My work also utilizes black radical art practices in the form of reappropriation, via African-American folklore and Afro-Surrealism, in order to deconstruct racist tropes and white supremacist representations of blackness.

My practice is predominately informed by my theory-led exploration of black radical art practice which is the creative practice of subverting white supremacy through the (semiotic) deconstruction of black diasporic representation and symbolisms. However, my work is also heavily informed by post-structuralist semiotics, specifically but not limited to Derridan semiotic theory and the deconstruction of the ‘other’. My work is centered around the importance of making processes, rituals, and foregrounding the creation of ‘art’ as equally important as the resulting object. My process typically starts with a theoretical statement or exploration. I then use my practice to articulate and disseminate my theoretical understandings regardless of the skill set(s) I am using.

Event Collection

Part of Intermedia #




Event Type






11:00am — 6:00pm


All ages


Free and unticketed


Wheelchair accessible

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