Royal Academy: Souls Grown Deep like the Rivers Black Artists from the American South
For generations, Black artists from the American South have forged a unique art tradition. Working in near isolation from established practices, they have created masterpieces that articulate America’s painful past – the inhuman practice of enslavement, the cruel segregationist policies of the Jim Crow era, and institutionalised racism.
Lonnie Holley,Keeping a Record of It (Harmful Music), 1986.
Drawing its title from the work of Langston Hughes, Souls Grown Deep like the Rivers brings together sculpture, paintings, reliefs, drawings, and quilts, most of which will be seen in the UK and Europe for the first time. It will also feature the celebrated quiltmakers of Gee’s Bend, Alabama and the neighbouring communities of Rehoboth and Alberta.
Made from the materials available locally – like clay, driftwood, roots, soil, recycled and cast-off objects – the 64 works range from the mid 20th century to today. Many respond to issues that are global in nature: from economic inequality, oppression and social marginalisation, to sexuality, the influence of place and ancestral memory.
Artists include Thornton Dial, Lonnie Holley, Ronald Lockett, Hawkins Bolden, Bessie Harvey, Charles Williams, Mary T. Smith, Purvis Young, Mose Tolliver, Nellie Mae Rowe, Mary Lee Bendolph, Marlene Bennett Jones, Martha Jane Pettway, Loretta Pettway, and Henry and Georgia Speller.
Exhibition organised by the Royal Academy of Arts, London in collaboration with Souls Grown Deep Foundation, Atlanta. #RASoulsGrownDeep BOOK HERE
17 March — 18 June 2023
Royal Botanic Gardens: Shipping Roots Keg de Souza
In Shipping Roots, Keg de Souza draws on RBGE’s collections to tell tales of eucalyptus, prickly pear and ‘alien’ seeds, tracing legacies through the British Empire and specifically linking Australia, India and the UK.
Plants have always traversed seas, intentionally and inadvertently. In Shipping Roots, Keg de Souza draws on RBGE’s collections to tell tales of eucalyptus, prickly pear and ‘alien’ seeds, tracing legacies through the British Empire and specifically linking Australia, India and the UK.
These stories relate to the artist’s own cultural removal, drawn from her lived experiences as a person of Goan heritage whose ancestral lands were colonised, to living as a settler on unceded Gadigal land in Sydney. 27 August 2023
Open daily, 10.30am – 5.15pm. Free entry.
Venue: Inverleith House, Royal Botanic Garden #Edinburgh
SPOTLIGHT: ADDIS FINE ARTS: WOVEN MOMENTS DAWIT ADNEW
Addis Fine Art is pleased to announce the first European solo show by Dawit Adnew, inaugurating our first show of 2023 in our London gallery in February. ENDS 15 APRIL 2023
Dawit Adnew’s (b.1973) paintings conjure a sumptuous, dream-like idyll, where figures pose languorously in beautifully patterned dresses in gardens overflowing with luxuriant plants, flowers, and fruits. An atmosphere of perpetual calm prevails, a suggestion of twilight, where colour and pattern are sources of pure pleasure, as in Matisse or Gauguin.
Vacation II, 2022
Acrylic on canvas
65 x 82⅝ in.
165 x 210 cm.
On at their London Gallery
ADDIS FINE ART, LONDON
21 Eastcastle Street,
London W1W 8DD
Tuesday – Friday, 11 am – 6 pm
Saturday, 12 – 6 pm
The Photographer’s Gallery Artist Talk: Ajamu X
Ajamu X, Power Drill Heels, 2021. Credit: © and courtesy Ajamu
Hear artist curator Ajamu X discuss activism, desire and visibility. Ajamu (1963, Huddersfield, UK) is a photographic artist, scholar, archive curator and radical sex activist best known for his imagery that challenges dominant ideas around black masculinity, gender, sexuality, and representation of black LGBTQ people in the United Kingdom.
Artist and curator Ajamu X has never been known to shy away from the male form. With a series of works now on display as part of A Hard Man is Good to Find!, join the artist for a new talk as we explore notions of masculinity, desire and visibility. Book Here:
Date: 6:30pm, Thu 18 May 2023
Price: £8, £5 members & concessions
Location: The Photographers’ Gallery
Johny Pitts: Home is Not a Place
In 2021, photographer Johny Pitts and poet Roger Robinson rented a red Mini Cooper and circumnavigated the British coast clockwise in search of Black history and communities. They began in London and followed the river Thames east towards Tilbury, where the Empire Windrush docked in 1948. Then they continued through Margate, Dover, Brighton, Southampton, Plymouth, Land’s End, Bristol, Cardiff, Liverpool, Blackpool, Belfast, Glasgow, John O’Groats, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Scarborough, Hull, Skegness, Orford Ness and Southend-on-Sea. They encountered Black British culture overlooked in official narratives, alongside the history of Empire and transatlantic slavery, to which every Briton is tethered.
The exhibition Home is Not a Place presents Pitts’ photographs from this journey within an installation divided into two parts for Stills’ gallery space. Pitts has created rooms representative of the past, present and future by merging objects from his childhood home with cultural influences from across the globe, underpinned by the ideas of seminal Black thinkers. More info; https://stills.org/exhibitions/johny-pitts-home-is-not-a-place/
Late at Tate Britain X Black Blossoms
The March edition of Late at Tate will be curated by Black Blossoms, an art organisation that operates as an expanded curatorial platform and online art school, providing courses and workshops exploring various aspects of contemporary art with a focus on diversity and inclusivity.
The theme of “Flourish” for the Late, is particularly significant in relation to, “The Unfinished Conversation” a display curated by Aicha Mehrez. This display and works on view pay tribute to the work of Stuart Hall, one of the most influential thinkers of our time, whose ideas on race, identity, and culture have shaped contemporary thinking in the field of cultural studies. Through the thoughtfully curated selection of artworks, visitors can participate in the ongoing conversation around representation in the arts and social justice in society reflecting on the challenges and opportunities of our time.
Black Blossoms has chosen to explore the theme of “Flourish,” aiming to celebrate the intersectionality of diasporic identities. Book here
Eric Gyamfi: Fixing Shadows – Julius and I | New exhibition this spring at Autograph
Eric Gyamfi transforms the gallery into a monochromatic cosmos, examining how photography can shift meanings and histories – ‘fixing shadows’ of legacy, absence, and revival. Thousands of cyanotype prints densely cover the gallery walls in the first UK solo exhibition of the artist’s work. In each one, Gyamfi blends his own image with a portrait of the transgressive, African American composer Julius Eastman (1940-1990).