Thursday, 4 January 2018

A Necessary Fiction Images and Texts

A short documentary film of "A Necessary Fiction" can be viewed on YouTube HERE

Title: Memory Reloaded
Medium: screen-print onto paper clay

Text: How we remember and what we are made to forget is the basis of Memory reloaded
and the manner in which memory is fragmented, splintered and fractious. I wanted to question the link between the creation of objects and the creation of memory and the mechanisms by which individuals and communities commemorate, recollect.
 Title: Boxed in Boxed out 
Medium: Screen-print on paper-clay, photographic image on acetate, museum display case
Text: Boxed in Boxed out uses the idea of the colonial museum display as a means by which the meaning of an object or text can be abused, changed, controlled and hidden. 
The redacted texts displayed testify to the erasure of black history and the obfuscation of meaning, with the use of the museum display case an example of a museum as a place of memory that stores 
memories and organises meaning.

Title: Told from below 
(exhibition installation view)
Medium: Glazed stoneware clay, photographic print onto fabric

Text: Told from below is a response to the architecture of the space and the dominant white room columns as a representation of a dominant narrative over subjugated sections of society. The smaller, black cylinders form part of the “history told from below”, a phrase by Antoni Gramsci to identify groups excluded from the establishment and the stories that are denied and not part of the mainstream narrative

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Exhibition - A Necessary Fiction

With the title of the exhibition taken from Jose Esteban Munoz and Stuart Hall’s idea of using archival material to explore the complexities of ancestral histories, A Necessary Fiction, centers on the Barbadian and Tower Hamlets resident Chris Braithwaite, an overlooked but outstanding figure in the history of militant Pan-Africanism and radical socialism and perhaps one of the leading socialist radicals in 1930s and 1940s Britain.

A first in the history of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archive, this exhibition will use contemporary ceramics and the visual arts to re-interpret the idea of an archive and utilise critical artistic practice to question dominant narratives and make a space for the re-imagining and remembrance of the redacted history of black social radicalism.
Using self-reflection, writing and my visual arts practice this exhibition will explore the notion of the archive as a place that stores memories and organises meaning and the role of exhibitions in the production of social knowledge – the politics of exhibiting.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

A Necessary Fiction

Currently making work for an exhibition at London Borough of Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archive entitled "A Necessary Fiction", planned for April 2017.

With the title of the exhibition taken from Jose Esteban’s and Stuart Hall’s idea of using archive material to explore the complexities of ancestral histories, “A Necessary Fiction” centres on the Barbadian Chris Braithwaite, one of the leading socialist radicals in 1930s and 1940s Britain. An overlooked but outstanding figure in the history of militant Pan-Africanism and radical socialism, he was perhaps the critical lynchpin of a maritime subaltern network in and around the imperial metropolis of inter-war London.

Better known under his pseudonym, Chris Jones, Braithwaite challenged state racism and the exploitative and oppressive experience of colonial seamen, at the hands of ship-owners and the National Union of Seamen. He was fundamental to the launching of the Negro Welfare Association (NWA) and also formed the Colonial Seamen’s Association (CSA).

An important friend and contemporary of intellectuals George Padmore, C.L.R. James, Paul Robeson, Eric Williams, Amy Ashwood Garvey, Ralph Bunche and the Kenyan nationalist and future Kenyan Prime Minister Jomo Kenyatta, Braithwaite was crucial to the mobilising of black radicals against the injustices of British colonialist and imperialist rule. Whilst central to the development of the international working class movement and International Socialism, Braithwaite developed close links with Nancy Cunard, Reginald Reynolds and Ethel Mannin to build solidarity with the colonial liberation struggles across the African diaspora.

The relevance and visibility of colonial maritime ethnic labour and its importance to an understanding of history of labour in Britain has been sorely neglected and overlooked. This exhibition is an attempt to situate and position black radical social history and its intrinsic relevance/ importance to trade union activism and current labour law. Particular themes are informed by perspectives on politics, identity and activism, the language of the international and ideas around diaspora. It is an attempt to utilise critical artistic practice to question dominant narratives and challenge the western simplification and belittling of black history.

Using a form of qualitative research, I will use self-reflection, writing and my visual arts practice to explore personal experience and connect an autobiographical story to wider cultural, political social meanings and understandings.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

EX-CA-VATE-TWO @ Schwartz Gallery

I have been selected for the EX-CA-VATE TWO exhibition at Hackney Wick's Schwartz Gallery.
The PV is Wednesday 03 June 6.00pm - 8.30pm.

I will be showing work from the clay as camera series, based on the ability of an object to capture a reflection or memory of a space. Based on the book by Gaston Bachelard, Poetics of Space, where he investigates the lived experience of a space, I use the clay object to investigate, record or capture a memory of a lived environment.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

New Work

Barack and Blanc
glazed porcelain

I have recently been working on a series of plates as a vehicle for exploring the mechanics of memory and the ability of the object/ image to migrate and mediate between the minimal and the excessive. Influenced by the aesthetics of the ceramic restoration process and the fragility of narrative structures, memory and desire, this work will be in series and multiples to create a narrative of momentary perfections and imperfections of nuanced printed surface imagery. Materials and processes are stoneware clay, casting slip, screen-print and mono-print with fabric.
Dutch Cloth
glazed porcelain

Friday, 21 September 2012

Untold Gold

Private View of the African and African Caribbean Design Diaspora (AACDD) exhibition Untold Goldas part of 100% Design and The London Design Festival.

Exhibition Open
19 - 30 September
11.00 - 8.00pm daily

Private View
Saturday 22 September 2012
6.00pm - 8.30pm

The Bargehouse
Oxo Tower Wharf
Bargehouse Street
London SE1 9PH.

I will be exhibiting the site specific installation, An Imaginary Return, and have curated, Dialogue, a new platform for contemporary African and African Caribbean artists working in clay.

Everyone welcome....

Image: An Imaginary Return 

An Imaginary Return

Influenced by the book, Poetics of Relation by Edouard Glissant, An Imaginary Return explores the triangular transatlantic slave trade, the interwoven relationship and continuing cultural and economic interdependence of Africa and Europe.
Using ceramic, metal, cardboard and collage, An Imaginary Return deals with the object (triangle) as a symbol of an event transformed through the process of re-generation (a copy of a copy) into a repetition of a moment. Inspired by the fragility of narrative structures, the work connects the physicality of corners and projects into the supporting environment to question the Eurocentric hegemony of history, time and space.

Desirous of a return to an imagined place, the work layers the collective archetype of the triangle to create the patterns and shape of an interwoven manifestation of memory and history.