A brand new exhibition exploring the contribution black artists have made to Scotland’s tradition has opened in Glasgow.
AfroScots: Revisiting the Work of Black Artists in Scotland by means of New Accumulating has been created in response to the “whiteness” of current Scottish artwork historical past narratives and is on show on the metropolis’s Gallery of Trendy Artwork (GoMA).
It brings collectively post-Sixties artwork which pulls on conversations round race, empire, independence and post-colonial legacies.
Curators stated whereas most of the featured artists wouldn’t essentially establish with “AfroScots”, folks of African and black-Caribbean descent in Scotland, the time period has been used as a unfastened title for the gathering of art work on show.
The exhibition contains the work of Barbadian-Scottish movie director Alberta Whittle, who lives and works between Glasgow and Barbados; Maud Sulter (1960–2008), an award-winning artist and author of Scottish and Ghanaian heritage who lived and labored within the UK; and Glasgow-based artist and DJ Matthew Arthur Williams, who has self-published a variety of artist books and whose work was displayed at Edinburgh Artwork Pageant final yr.
Additionally featured within the show are: Donald Locke (1930-2010), a Guyanese-born artist and sculptor whose artwork is included in varied collections, together with the Victoria and Albert Museum in London; Aubrey Williams, a Guyanese-born artist who travelled to Britain in 1952 to review portray and was additionally a founding member of the Caribbean Arts Motion within the Sixties; artist and researcher Lisandro Suriel, whose challenge Ghost Island explores the identification of slave descendants who traversed The Center Passage throughout the Trans-Atlantic Slave Commerce; and Ajamu, whose work centres on his sexuality and explores the tales of these within the LGTBQ+ group, notably black males.
Glasgow Life, which runs GoMA, has labored on the show with a curatorial group referred to as Mom Tongue since 2018.
Mom Tongue’s founders, Tiffany Boyle and Jessica Carden, initially proposed the thought to compile a chronology of black-Scottish artists from the 1860s onwards who lived, studied, travelled and exhibited on this nation.
The acquisitions, spanning 1963 to 2019, have been supported by Artwork Fund, the nationwide fundraising charity for artwork, with Professor Lubaina Himid as mentor.
They’re displayed alongside a brand new Artwork Fund-backed fee from Barby Asante, a London-based artist, curator and occasional DJ whose work attracts on the histories and legacies of colonialism.
Jenny Waldman, Artwork Fund director, stated the fundraising group is “delighted” to assist the brand new acquisitions for GoMA, including: “This exhibition brings collectively an vital group of works by black-Scottish artists working from the Sixties till at present, shining a light-weight on their vital contribution to the nation’s cultural panorama.”
Katie Bruce, of GoMA, stated the exhibited art work has “amplified the work” of black artists in Glasgow Life Museums’ assortment.
She added: “It’s also thrilling that the fee with Barby Asante, which we’ve got been making an attempt to understand since 2017, is being premièred right here throughout the context of this exhibition alongside work of her friends that I’ve had the pleasure of bringing into the gathering.
“I’m additionally grateful to all of the artists, artist estates, collaborators, colleagues, Artwork Fund and notably Mom Tongue who’ve made AfroScots potential, regardless of the pandemic.”
A spokesperson for Mom Tongue stated: “The archival and collection-based analysis that preceded this challenge largely took us to analysis supplies primarily based, even displaced, outwith Scotland.
“An enormous a part of this challenge was in search of to deliver the AfroScots artists, their work and life tales collectively, and to offer them a neighborhood, accessible residence for future audiences, arts practitioners and researchers.”
The exhibition, which is now open to the general public, is housed in the primary gallery at GoMA.