Black art, Black talent and Black creativity should be celebrated at all times; not just in the confines of a calendar month. We use our platform to share some of the most talented creatives within the music and art industry, so we’re using this Black History Month to continue doing just that.
This year, we’re sharing a two-part blog series to spotlight creatives and collectives that are “Black In: Art” and “Black In: Music”. To start, we’ve curated a list of nine exhibitions happening right now across London, telling beautiful Black stories through various artistic styles from contemporary paintings to photojournalism.
1. Nirit Takele - The Space Between Us at Addis Fine Art (8th - 30th October)
Addis Fine Art exhibits vibrant new paintings by Ethiopian Israeli painter Nirit Takele; this is the artist’s second European exhibition with Addis Fine. Nirit Takele brings to life the tales of the Ethiopian Israeli community and the turbulence they have faced during the last 18 months in Beta Israel. Illustrating folded, entangled figurines Takele; demonstrates the different dynamics in relationships between the subjects. It’s bold and radiant. And how can we forget the way the artist captures the stories in their eyes?
2. Some of Us Are Brave: Feminine, Form, and Function in Black Women’s Art at The Grove
CaslidART returns at The Grove with " Some of Us Are Brave..."; a group exhibition honouring Black Female artists. Some of the artists involved include Bokani and Hannah Uzor, Caroline Chinakwe, and Sharon Adebisi. This display is an opportunity to celebrate emerging artists and their interpretation of what the Black Female experience looks like in today's society.
The exhibition intends to spark a discussion about how art can be a tool to change and transform certain beliefs on reoccurring societal issues.
You can get (FREE) tickets here.
3. Eddy Kamuanga Ilunga - Ghost of The Present at October Gallery (13th October - 27th November)
This is now the Congolese artist's third solo exhibition. In this new series, Eddy Kamuanga's 'Ghost of The Present' spotlights the impact of Catholic missions in the 19th century in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Known for his subjects possessing electric-wired skin, Kamuanga continues to highlight the issue of the coltan crisis in the country and how its unethical mining impacts the country's environment and those living there.
4. James Barnor: Accra/ London - A Retrospective at Serpentine Gallery (30 Mar — 24 Oct 2021)
This exhibition follows the lens that captures stories of Ghana and the Black British diaspora. British-Ghanian photographer James Barnor brings us work that spans six decades between two continents. His work delves into multiple genres. These include studio portraiture, editorial, photojournalism, and societal commentary. Discover a gorgeous collection of Black & White and colourful images of rich history that provides a glimpse of life before.
5. Black Women Art Network: Expressions of Freedom at Matthew’s Yard (10th September - 30th November)
Matthew's Yard is housing the 'Expression of Freedom' exhibition this October. See 11 talented Black Female artists come together to show off their understanding of what Freedom is, using a range of different artistic mediums. Curated by Black Women Art Network, the non-profit organisation wish to support Black female artists and creatives within the UK as they aren't often given the limelight within the UK's art scene. Artists include:
6. Victor Ekpuk: I Am My Ancestors’ Essence at Tafeta (6th October - 3rd November)
Victor Ekpuk presents a dialogue with African ancestral objects in portraiture style in his new project I Am My Ancestors' Essence. Victor Ekpuk is a Nigerian-American artist whose work is inspired heavily by the "Nsibidi" writing system from the southeastern part of Nigeria. The artist's new series explores consciousness and memory. Ekpuk believes "our identities are the sum of our past and present memories". You can purchase tickets to see the full exhibition here at Cromwell Place. Or at Tafeta's gallery space on Russell Street.
7. An Ode to Afrosurrealism by Hamed Maige & Adama Jalloh at Horniman Museum (Now - 7th November)
Paying homage to afrosurrealism, artists Hamed Maiye and Adama Jalloh explore the meaning of spiritual identity through the lens. The Horniman Museum exhibition fixates on the meaning behind the number “two” and twins.
8. Badimo Ba Kgole at Signature African Art Gallery (5th - 30th October)
Giggs Kgole returns with a new series- 'Badimo Ba Kgole'. The South African artist puts together a thrilling, rich display examining the journey of a boy becoming a man. Applying elements of numerology and the teachings of his ancestors who have blessed him, this exhibition is an experience like no other. One which encourages spectators to be involved with also.
9. Two Birds and a Stone by Lavar Munroe at Jackbell Gallery (6th-29th October)
Jack Bell Gallery presents Lavar Munroe's 'Two Birds and a Stone'. This contemporary artist orchestrates beautiful pieces invoking the themes of religion, death, the pandemic, good & evil, belonging vs. exclusion, and fatherhood. With each piece, there lies an element of surprise through Munroe's use of mixed media. Combining various materials such as tiles, feathers, mousetraps, and beads. Don't piece out on this viewing!
Keep an eye out for the next blog in these series “Black In: Music”, dropping at the end of this month.