Emerging Artist: Sydney Cain


October 20, 2021
December 19, 2021


Refutations is an ongoing body of work exploring ancestral memory and the power of Black myth. The project includes various multimedia series of artwork, publications and exhibitions emerging from personal genealogy research alongside process documentation through photography and drawing. Through play between ephemerality and figurative representation, Cain teases resistance against erasure while also celebrating metamorphoses that occur in the voids of invisibility. The work is an exploration in the perimeters of both existing and not existing through imaginative landscapes.


Sydney Cain was born and raised in San Francisco. Her multimedia work is largely on paper using dye, graphite, powdered metals, and chalk as emblems of impermanence and transformation. She investigates remembrance, evolution and spirituality from her perspective as a queer black woman. The encoded language of DNA is deciphered through the practice of drawing contributing to the concept of collective Black mythos. Her current work is founded on genealogy research alongside the effects of urban renewal/colonialism and threats against Black afterlives. Cain has exhibited throughout the Bay Area including SOMArts, Betti Ono, Ashara Ekundayo Gallery, Rena Bransten Gallery, San Francisco Arts Commission, and the African American Arts and Culture Complex.

Sydney Cain is an awardee of MoAD’s 2019-20 Emerging Artists program.

The Emerging Artist Program is made possible by generous support from the Institute for Museum and Library Services

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