UNTOLD STORIES : AT REST
Birungi Kawooya + BOKANI present
Alongside Black Blossoms, an expanded curatorial art platform, we selected artists Birungi Kawooya and BOKANI to create a new temporary artwork located on a large hoarding on Freston Road, W10 by responding to our 2022 Art Week's overarching theme of 'Nourishment'. The artists worked with participants from the local community who attend Homefield House Children Centre to explore ideas around rest as a source of nourishment and think about ways mothers can prioritise their well-being.
In response to the workshops, the artists Birungi Kawooya and BOKANI further collaborated to create three artwork designs which draw the attention of the broader community to the many ways rest can happen and the physical and psychological benefits this can have on individuals.
Now, we ask YOU to review each design proposal below and vote on them. The finalist theme proposal will be announced here and across all our social channels, and the design based on the selected theme will be created in January 2023.
HOW TO VOTE (closed on 3 January) Please check in here for the announcement of the mural theme
Click on through the galleries below to read the statements by the artists about each proposal theme. Please place your vote once for your favourite proposal by 3 January 2023. Once all the votes have been counted, we will announce the chosen proposal to be recreated by Bokani and Birungi as a huge 26 meter mural.
Please scroll down to place your vote and scroll further to read on about the artists and the curator, as well as information about Holmfield House Children Centre, where the artists held workshops with womxn of different backgrounds to explore the concept of rest in contemporary society.
PROPOSAL A | Collect Them All
PROPOSAL B | Rest
PROPOSAL C | Resting Figures
Voting Now Closed - thank you
About Black Blossoms
Black Blossoms is an expanded curatorial project showcasing artists with meaningful stories to tell through their art practice. The platform aims to exhibit their art worldwide in public and gallery spaces, engaging collectors and art lovers to explore their practice further.
The Black Blossoms School of Art and Culture and Journal is dedicated to documenting and highlighting the art histories and the current creative approaches of artists from historically marginalised backgrounds.
Since 2020 Black Blossoms has partnered with KCAW in response to the Black Lives Matter movement and as part of KCAW efforts to redress the systemic underrepresentation and undersupport of black womxn artists.
Learn more: black-blossoms.online
About Birungi Kawooya
Birungi Kawooya is a collage artist and tutor inspired by nature, Black womxn and the ingenuity of dance from the African diaspora using batik, paper, paint and sculpture.
Her works celebrate Black womxnhood, elevating rest, joy and wellbeing. In 2020 she reflected on how Black womxn are pivotal in leading social justice movements and decided to focus on compelling Black womxn to protect their dreamspace with the “Sisters Need Sleep” collection. The collection celebrates Black womxn resting and taking care of themselves. By prioritising self-care, the figures in “Sisters Need Sleep” resist the forces of domination in themselves and contribute to a more equitable society for all.
Her work is often infused with the lush plant life such as tropical flowers and matooke (banana) trees which are common in Uganda. Birungi articulates the interconnectedness of nature, movement and wellbeing through the Josephine Baker and Kiganda dance collections.
With a focus on promoting mental well-being, Birungi leads Mindful African art programmes and create spaces to help people work through anxiety, stimulate their imagination and connect to vibrant African textile designs.
Birungi has a strong collaborative art practice and makes artwork informed by community engagement workshops. She was commissioned by The World Reimagined and Kensington and Chelsea Art Week to lead community workshops to inform designs for a 1.9 m globe sculpture and 25 m long mural, respectively.
Birungi is currently on a 6 month art residency in Uganda exploring natural fibres ahead of her 2023 exhibition at Makerere University art gallery, with the support of the Arts Council England. Her art will portray themes of trauma resolution, time travel, rest and mental wellbeing and sculptural installations invite participants to restore wellbeing. In January she will be resident at 32 Degrees, formerly the Ugandan Arts Trust.
Birungi is currently on a 6 month art residency in Uganda exploring natural fibres ahead of her 2023 exhibition at Makerere University art gallery, with the support of the Njabala Foundation and the Arts Council England.
Bokani is a multi-disciplinary artist making work across multiple mediums that address climate justice and integral ecology. Chiefly concerned with our complicity, her works elicit a new response to nature and the patterns of our inter-connectivity. The ethics and liberatory capacities of Black feminist protest and thought underpins her practice as an artist and her belief in the transformative capacities of art.
Her practice encompasses abstract painting (including mixed-media works exploring the possibilities of clay and stain glass), drawing, photography, digital art, installations and street art.
Bokani has a BSc degree in politics and economics from the University of Bath (2009) and a Masters in Computational Art from Goldsmiths College (2022). She took part in BBC1s The Big Painting Challenge and won the public vote in the first week. Bokani is Zimbabwean born and raised, she lives and works in London.
Selected exhibitions include: Reconciliation: The unfinished business of liberation, Solo, Fitzrovia Chapel(London, UK) 2022, Mystical Nature, Roman Road Gallery, (London, UK) 2022, In Conversation Now! Shapero Rare Books, (London, UK) 2022, Some of us are brave III (Oxford, UK) 2022, #BlackArtOutdoors Billboards (London, Leeds, Bristol, UK)2020-2021, Port of Call, Changing Room Gallery, (London, UK) 2021, ING Discerning Eye, Mall Galleries, (London, UK)2021, The New Hues Of Blackness, MYO Victoria and Piccadilly Circus Lights, (London, UK) 2021, Kaleidoscope: A Celebration of Colour, Drian Gallery (London, UK), 2021, Shivers, Goldsmiths College, (London, UK) 2021. Renaissance, Espace7 (Paris, France), 2018, Still Life, House for an Art Lover, (Glasgow, Scotland), 2017
About Holmfield House Children Centre
Holmfield House Children Centre is part of the family services offered by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chesea. It is free and open to all families with a child aged under five who live in the area.
There are activities to support parents and careers in the following areas:
child development and school readiness
parenting aspirations, self esteem and parenting skills
child and family health and life chances
Activities and classes include: antenatal clinics, family literacy and numeracy classes or create and learn sessions
We are extremely grateful to Esther Munro who dedicates her time and support to families and helped us facilitate the workshops with a group of parents in local area.
RBKC Arts Grants Scheme
The project is also suppo