Swivel Gallery is pleased to present “Memory Garden,” a group exhibition featuring artists Aryana Minai, Madjeen Isaac, and Luján Pérez Hernández curated by Sadaf Padder. The exhibition opens Saturday, May 13th and runs through Saturday, June 18th, 2023 at Swivel’s new flagship location at 396 Johnson Avenue in Brooklyn, New York.

Inspired by the method of loci or memory palace, an imaginary location that can store mnemonic images, we propose a garden: a place we may not know but wholeheartedly feel, a place that we can collectively cultivate. The exhibition offers sculpture, print-making, installation and paintings inspired by environmental materials and historical anecdotes. The three third-culture artists featured in this exhibition keenly observe their immediate surroundings and spiritually alchemize their work with stories and items from their diverse lineages spanning Iran, Spain and Haiti and their familial migrations to cities across the USA. They establish a space of belonging, celebrate resilience and architect bright futures.

Memory Garden exhibition at Swivel Gallery

About the artists:

Aryana Minai (b. 1994, Los Angeles, CA) makes paper-based sculptures and wall works that are intimately linked to philosophies and histories of architecture, migration, labor, the body, and the handmade. Minai identifies paper as a material that connects storytelling, cultural tradition, and craft, centering her practice on the diasporic subject's daily lived experiences and drawing from her personal archive of decontextualized Iranian-American content. Minai received her BFA from Art Center College of Design in 2016 and her MFA from Yale School of Art in 2020. Minai’s work has been exhibited at venues including the Craft Contemporary, OCHI, and Steve Turner in Los Angeles, CA; Brand Library & Art Center in Glendale, CA; Interloc in Rockport, ME; and Galerie Perrotin and Ed. Varie in New York, NY. Her work has been featured in publications including ArtNet News, LA Weekly, Whitehot Magazine, and Arte East.

Madjeen Isaac (b. 1996, Brooklyn, NY) has rooted her practice in reconstructing and assembling mélanges of urban and tropical environments to create utopias and realms of her imagination. Growing up in a predominantly Caribbean neighborhood and being a first generation American influences Isaac’s process of commemorating community, memories, and cultures that have shaped her upbringing. Isaac calls for environmental justice and food equity by centering narratives of Black and Caribbean folks leaning into their ancestral practice of agriculture and tending to the spaces they occupy in order to receive an abundance of joy, liberation and leisure. Isaac invites the viewer as both an outsider looking in and possibly existing in her worlds without the constraints of reality. Isaac received a BFA in Fine Art from The Fashion Institute of Technology (2018) and an MA in Art+Edu & Community Practice at New York University (2021).

Luján Pérez Hernandez (b. 1991, Madrid, ES) has lived in between Spain and the United States since the age of six. Following the completion of her bachelor’s degree, Perez worked and lived on farmland in Tupelo, Mississippi, creating her own printing press, later attending the Leipzig International Artist Program, and most recently the recipient of the Chubb Fellowship, and The MacedoniaInstitute Residency in July 2021 Her work employs a combination of printmaking, drawing, painting, and sculpture; exploring the relationship between earth and spirit while tackling the eternally plaguing questions of love, death, rebirth, and belonging. Peréz presented a solo booth at Spring Break Art Fair 2021, was included in the New York Times reviewed Future Fairs booth in 2021. In 2022, she held a solo exhibition at Kapp Kapp gallery, and was featured in the group shows, “The Cowboys Made Me Cry” at Swivel Saugerties, NY, and“Sele” at Galerie MPA in Madrid, Spain.


Official Afterparty

Saturday, May 13th, 9 PM - 11 PM EST at Worthless Studios

Make a Seed Bomb with Lujan Pérez

Sunday, June 4th, 12 PM - 2:00 EST at Phoenix Community Garden

Exhibition Tours with Sadaf Padder

Saturday, June 10th, 2 PM EST and 3:30 PM EST at Swivel Gallery

Swivel Gallery Memory Garden curated by Sadaf Padder
Photo credit: Daniel Terna


Alicia Puig has been a contributing writer for Create! Magazine since 2017.