Sound has been vital to emancipatory moments of resistance in the African Diaspora. Drums, the voice, and the spirit have all served as vessels for sonic expressions of liberation in the legacy of the black experience. Artist, curator, and deejay Sadie Woods has a made a career out of producing and curating sounds reflective of histories of rebellion, collective protest, and restorative healing from a global Black perspective. Her work has consistently embodied innovative practices of social justice by way of music.

Woods’ artistic practice through sculpture and sound has consistently demonstrated how sound has been embedded in the many legacies of Black liberation that have transpired locally and nationally. Sound pieces like her site-specific radio broadcast “It Was a Rebellion” for the fiftieth anniversary of the 1968 Chicago “riots,” revealed how the quest for freedom roots back to ancestral beginnings in the Caribbean, the continent of Africa and beyond—from Ferguson to Baltimore, to the Civil Rights Era, all the way to the emancipation of the first Black republic in Haiti.   

Her solo exhibition Coyaba draws from this multi-ethnic lineage of emancipatory practices through presenting new and old work across the mediums of wood, collage, sculpture and photography. Coyaba—a word of Arawakan and Taino origins meaning ‘heaven’—is an idyllic place of eternal tranquility without catastrophe. Woods’ newest work on view-- her ongoing series of wooden music boxes--understand the material of wood as an expression of sacred ritual, cultural memory-work, ancestral narratives, and healing through sound. In an effort to transcend the injustices of our present day, she uses these music boxes as signifiers for the longer genealogies that we belong to. Through industrial material, found objects, repurposed music sheets, and more, Coyaba gives viewers access to the communal and personal narratives that have shaped our collective consciousness in Black liberation.


Featured at Connect Gallery, curated by Sabrina Greig and Ciera McKissick.