Dispora Exhibition

I was fortunate to be asked to be part of the “African and Caribbean Diaspora” exhibition at The Forge Artspace in Shere, Surrey. The work was curated by Rachel Oteng- Lartey of Wills Art Warehouse and the art space owner, Uthayla Bray. I am exhibiting alongside the above established artists.

Uthayla is very passionate about putting on this exhibition. As many of you are aware, the erasure of blacks and other minority cultures from art history has been demonstrated through a lack of presence in major auctions, museums, galleries and art history curricula. It encompasses not only an absence of minority figures in the art itself, but black artists as well. The issue isn’t that black art is rare or that black artists are less talented.

Regardless of the medium or subject matter, black art is almost always treated as a commentary on race. It’s almost as if, in order to be successful black artists, they must perpetually create art that speaks on black culture and racism. It’s not important for an artist’s race to be apparent just by looking at their work but, knowing that there are an increasing number of black artists being featured in museums and galleries, is important.

Although museums do seem to be making an effort to collect more work by black artists and promote them, the system is still clearly flawed. This exhibition is part of the drive to address that on a local level.

The Forge Artspace is a beautiful Lutyens designed building which until recently was a fully functioning forge. It has been sympathetically renovated to create a bright, airy space which lends itself to being an art gallery.