475 25th Street, Oakland CA 94612

Friday + Saturday: 12-5pm and by appt.

M20 Hamburger Icon


OCTOBER 14- NOVEMBER 19, 2022 - Oakland Art Murmur / First Friday: NOVEMBER 4, 5 – 9 pm

Sotto Voce imagines a dystopian future through the lens of a tumultuous present. Influenced by the solitude of the onset of the pandemic in 2020 and the uncertainty that seems to shroud the future, this work reflects thoughts and experiments in Oni-Eseleh’s art practice during that time.

As Oni-Eseleh sheltered in place during the initial “lockdown” period, she couldn’t help but draw parallels to the Black Plague that swept Europe – a terrifying mysterious killer, the cause of which nobody (at the time) knew. The suspicion of “the other” and the reactions of the masses, including willful ignorance of danger, highlighted the cyclical nature of history. Using history as a model, she began to dream of the world, after the Dark Age of Corona, as it emerges into an age of Renaissance that may take a century to realize.

This collection of work imagines a world where nature has had a chance to heal and reassert itself, and people again look to classical antiquity for inspiration as it merges with current technology. There are bright bright flowers and leafy overgrowth and collaborations with artificial intelligence. There is also an undercurrent of solitude and confinement, surrender to the unknown, and glimmers of hope.

Dawline-Jane Oni-Eseleh (she/her) is a first generation Afro-Caribbean visual artist and arts educator who lives and works on Ohlone land (Oakland, CA). Her work explores memory, history, and personal narratives.  A New York native, Ms. Oni-Eseleh attended The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, and has exhibited her work in spaces across the United States and internationally. Her illustration work has been featured in The LA Times, ProPublica and Teen Vogue.

The Future Imperfect
Dawline-Jane Oni-Eseleh, The Future Imperfect (2022), Acrylic and composition gold leaf on digitally printed canvas, 12 x 12 inches, photo courtesy of the artist.

    Mercury 20 Gallery

    475 25th Street, Oakland CA 94612
    Tel: 510-701-4620

    Gallery hours: Friday + Saturday: 12-5pm and by appt