This Thursday, the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft opens up a solo exhibition composed of pieces by Houston-based transdisciplinary artist B. Anele. Titled B. Anele: I Don’t Play That Game, the exhibition is curated by HCCC curatorial fellow Sarah Darro.

B. Anele has been making waves in Houston for as of recent. Their works range from sculptural garments to soft sculpture and transcend into architectural form and performance. The artist works in a variety of materials, and their works commune with space, surrounding elements, and works deep within the relationship between the viewer, wearer, and artist themselves.

B. Anele, Center for Contemporary Craft

The works are gesturally playful and yet refined in execution. Weaving in and out of counter-culture icons and graphic rejuvenation, B. Anele cleverly presents their creative expression. For B. Anele, expression is poised as form of social activism, as well as an accessible and inclusive alternative to homogeneity in contemporary culture. This solo exhibition presents new works and fashion-based pieces, rooted somewhere between functional and conceptual imaginative investigations. Sarah Darro is a quick study as a curator and leaves no stone unturned with her programming and events, making her the ideal candidate to navigate the intricate works of B. Anele. 

As a young artist, B. Anele has presented works and projects both locally and nationally. Their works have been exhibited in such spaces as Andrew Eldin Gallery (NYC), Unit C Gallery (Austin), Jonathan Hopson Gallery and Private Eye Gallery here in Houston.

Free Press Houston had a chance to catch up with B. Anele recently to talk about their latest exhibition.

B. Anele, Center for Contemporary Craft

Free Press Houston: Recently we have seen your works all over the city. You seem to be involved in so many projects currently. How long have you been exhibiting in Houston, and what has been your driving factor to-date for your strong studio and curatorial practices?

B. Anele: I have been exhibiting for about two years now. I’ve always been a creative for as long as I can remember. I have always been creating very consistently, and I couldn’t describe it better than an innate soul-driven practice. I’ve never had any question about whether I was an artist or not even before I ever thought I’d have a chance at being “successful.”

FPH: Your works range wonderfully from semi-wearable fashion to almost installation or site-specific sculpture. The works of yours seem to dart between all mediums while not entirely settling on any one in particular. How would you describe your works to a new viewer? Would you consider yourself a fiber, fashion, or painting-based artist? Help us better understand your play within all mediums.

BA: I would say my work starts with completely wearable pieces — I do work in functional wearables as well. I do not consider anything I make to be a separate practice from each other. Everything I create is an extension of my general creative practice. Therefore I consider myself a transdisciplinary artist. Nothing I make should be seen as separate from each other.

FPH: I love the way your works are changing all the time, never settling for too long on one form. Do you find your exploration to be in collaboration with your curatorial efforts? Where have you been excited to exercise those recently?

BA: My exploration is very natural. I find that I organically move from one project to another. My desire to work within different mediums comes naturally. It just so happens to be whatever my mind/hand gravitates towards that day, week, month, year, etc.

Anele is a bright new talent on the scene and definitely someone to continue to follow. Their works and exhibitions are as lively and energetic as they are intellectually rounded. The opening for this exhibition is tonight, and is sure to be packed full of art lovers and collectors alike. Make sure you are there; it will definitely be an experience you won’t forget.

“Anele: I Don’t Play That Game” opens tonight at 6 p.m. at the Center for Contemporary Craft Houston (4848 Main St.)