Interview: Glenda Gaspard Curator/ Artist “The Black Experience”

Glenda is the curator of The Black Experience (TBE) exhibition taking place on 8th December, which will exhibit breathtaking art from a collective of 15+ creatives who will be showcasing their works at the exhibition. FREE entry to the public from 1pm, with the private viewing party commencing at 6pm – tickets are required. Main image credit: Glenda Gaspard Artist

  1. Tell us about “The Black Experience”, what do you do and how did you derive at the idea?

‘The Black experience’ is the title of my first curated exhibition. As a creative, I’ve always had a passion for culture, music and art and I’m an avid painter and singer/song writer. The title for me best captivates a stage in my journey of self-exploration, where I really got to understand the beauty of collaborating and sharing ideas and experiences, especially within the black community. Personally, I feel with society’s various agendas to abate minorities, a narrative of division and internal conflict has been forced upon us, causing our culture of unity and healthy communication to slowly crumble away. The Black Experience exhibition is about raising awareness of the power of transparency – it’s about reminding people of the unmatchable reassurance and wisdom that comes from simply exchanging experiences. Through the various conversations I’ve had along my journey, I’ve had so many invaluable ‘me too’ moments – some even painful. Above all, each experience ultimately forced me to elevate mentally, again and again.

  1. Why choose art to expose “neglected conversations”?

Art is an incredibly powerful tool, but growing up, I can say outside of creative circles, it was hard for friends & family to appreciate that. I think now the times are changing,  and people are almost searching for ways to interact with this creativity without feeling like ‘art’ is exclusive of the ordinary person. Using art to project sensitive/political topics gives everyone a reason to relate.

  1. Tell us about some of artists taking part?

TBE exhibition will be featuring work from a diverse collective of 17 artists including myself, in forms of graffiti, collage, photography, paintings and many more; each with their own unique and special concept.

  1. What can one expect on the day, any highlights?

On the day you can expect a jam-packed evening of various cultural entertainment; free drinks and nibbles, live music, poetry, discussion and much more – also a special surprise performance due to be announced soon.

  1. Who is the event aimed at if not the creative community?

The event is aimed to welcome absolutely everyone. Through our alternative gallery experience, we want all people from all walks of life to feel comfortable interacting with art and having conversations about art.

  1. Why do you think that identity is high on the agenda right now?

Times are constantly changing and from my own personal ‘black experience’, I know when my Ghanaian grandparents were my age, they would have never had to question their place in their immediate society with respect to their racial identity. The youth of today have it different – to put it simply. Majority of BAME’s within generation Z at some point, have faced or will have to face an identity crisis. Feelings of being too distant from your roots but not feeling ‘home’ anywhere, is a constant battle that many of us face and for that reason identity will always be high the agenda.

  1. Do you think we are moving towards positive change or are we becoming a more separatist society?

Right now, I feel so many powerful black figures are rising to change negative narratives in our society like #Akala, #Yomi & #Elizabeth the writers of ‘Slay in Your Lane’, #Stormzy etc to name just a few, which is very positive. At times as, a minority it’s easy to seclude our conversations from other demographics which is almost a ‘give up’ mindset, but I think the most growth happens when we include others on our journeys of enrichment in knowledge. These waves we make should initiate change beyond our personal spaces.

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