I spent a whole day visiting some galleries and exhibitions around London; all three were based around the theme of Black History and African Art. I took lots of photos of the exhibitions I visited so check them out. The first and second galleries were located in West London & the last in North West London.
- Kudzanai-Violet Hwami
IF YOU KEEP GOING SOUTH YOU’LL MEET YOURSELF
29 SEP – 15 NOV 2017
26 Barrett St London W1U 1BG
I started of with the Tyburn Gallery on 26 Barrett St London. The exhibition was curated by the Zimbabwe born artist ‘Kudzanai-Violet Hwami’. Her art explored themes of displacement, diaspora and nostalgia. The idea of having multiple homes and her experience of being a child of the ‘diaspora’ she quoted on one of her paintings “too foreign for here, too foreign for home”, a common feeling second generation refugees feel. Stuck in-between all these different environments and life experiences Hwami drew inspiration from this and portrayed it through her art in the form of portraits and family photographs. She says, “In my paintings, I like to create a positive future… like a utopia- dream. So I paint the future of Zimbabwe in a light of manner”. Kudzanai-Violet Hwami’s work is truly beautiful and I truly resonated with it all. The exhibition runs until the 15 November 2017 and it’s free entry so do head down.
2. HER STORY: Sisterhood That Transcends
REWA & DAGMAR VAN WEEGHEL
22nd September – 21st October 2017
45 Albemarle Street London W1S 4JL
The second exhibition I visited was at the Gallery of African Art (GAFRA), by the emerging Nigerian artists REWA, and the Netherlands – based photographer Dagmar Van Weeghel. Her art explored some interesting themes of female identity and the different roles that women play in our complex world. She quotes; “women play many roles- mothers, sisters, daughters, friends and lovers, but there is a connection that all women share which binds them together”. Her exhibition aims to celebrate and uplift woman from all over the world. REWA believes that all women play a part in a “Sisterhood that Transcends”. She grew up in Nigeria but has also lived in Johannesburg; her travels have inspired her as a self-taught artist. I felt like each piece told me a different story and took me to a place that REWA travelled to in her thoughts. Sadly this exhibition is no longer being shown however the gallery does showcase art from all over Africa so check out their website before you head down there for the other cool art on show.
3. Pop Art From North Africa
Najlaa El-Ageli & Toufik Douib
22nd Sept – 4th Nov 2017
21-27 Chalton Street London NW1 1JD
This exhibition was the most interesting out of the three, all of these exhibitions had something in common they all touched on the feelings of identity and home. The ‘Pop Art From North Africa’ featured fifteen creative individuals from North Africa who were all inspired by the ‘Pop Art’ movement. Najlaa El –Ageli wanted to show how her dual identity can come through in her art whilst challenging the dominant misconceptions of a region in crisis. Toufik, who I actually met the day I visited the exhibition, wanted to show how the pop culture has re-appropriated and reinvented the creative industry into a popular culture. What I concluded from the exhibition was that Pop Art is evolving in way that suits both religion and culture. The other two exhibitions above had no interactive components, but the Pop Art From N’ Africa was different. I got to listen to Moroccan music and even watch a little clip while I was there. The exhibition is on until the 4th of November so do head down there soon!
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my experiences at the exhibitions that I visited. Don’t limit yourself to just the ones I’ve named, Google some other places you can visit, or check out the list of Black History themed exhibitions posted by London Black Art on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/londonblackart/status/914590587390758917
If you’ve enjoyed reading this post please do share it & comment down below some other events you’d like covering.