This interview was produced in partnership with Commissioner, a membership program that aims to grow a community of new art collectors in Miami, and share the stories of local arts and artists.
Every quarter, the program commissions one artist to create original, limited edition works for its members. Since launching in fall 2018, Commissioner’s members have received collages, photography and mixed media artwork by Typoe, Adler Guerrier and Kelly Breez.
Jamilah Sabur is a Miami-based artist of Jamaican descent. She moved here when she was young and her experience on the island and in SoFla have remained a foundation for her work. Jamilah is a huge fan of using words and language, and weaving them into her pieces — which contain a mix of sculpture, paintings and vibrant latticework.
She studied fine arts at the University of California, San Diego and interdisciplinary sculpture at the Maryland Institute College of Art. Jamilah’s work has been featured around the world, including in institutions like the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, the gr_und project space in Berlin, and here in Miami at the PAMM and the Frost Art Museum.
And her most recent local exhibit was earlier this year at the Nina Johnson Gallery, titled Jamilah Sabur: Stream Gradient.
How would you describe your work?
I describe my work as a constellation.
What are some of the influences you drew from for the Stream Gradient exhibition?
Memory, geography, geology. The St. Johns River in Florida was a big influence.
How much of a role does Jamaica play in your work?
I moved to Miami when I was four years old from Jamaica. I grew up in Miami and I work a lot with personal and family memories of Jamaica.
You use multiple materials and mediums in your work, do you have a preference or is it shaped by what you’re trying to convey?
I always say any means necessary — sometimes the materials shapes the ideas or the ideas determine what mode I will work in.
Jamilah Sabur is the fourth and final artist of Commissioner’s inaugural season. Sign up to the waitlist at www.commissioner.us for your chance to join Season Two. Pre-sale begins August 2019.