UNTOLD STORIES: REST & REFLECTION
We are delighted to be one of 42 community-led organisations across the capital to receive funding from the London Mayor's Untold Stories: the Commission for Diversity in the Public Realm Award.
In response to the Black Lives Matter movement and as part of our efforts to redress the systemic underrepresentation and undersupport of black womxn artists, we have joined forces with curator Bolanle Tajudeen and artists Birungi Kawooya and Bokani Tshidzu, to create a new temporary artwork located on a large hoarding on Freston Road, W10.
Curator Bolanle Tajudeen is the founder of Black Blossoms - an expanded curatorial platform showcasing contemporary Black womxn and non-binary visual artists since 2015. Through the platform, she has curated notable public and gallery art exhibitions in the U.K. In 2020 she launched the Black Blossoms School of Art and Culture, an online learning platform decolonizing art education. She devised and taught the short course Art in the Age of Black Girl Magic, exploring the historical and contemporary practices of Black womxn and non binary artists. In 2018 and 2019, classes were held at Tate and in 2020 the course ran online through the Photographers’ Gallery.
Birungi Kawooya is a collage artist using fabric and baltik to capture mood, movement and energy in a still image. In her workshops she often uses music and dance as a vehicle for releasing anxiety and then encourages participants to engage with mindfulness when creating their own artworks in her sessions.
Bokani Tshidzu’s digital works are infused with a colourful aesthetic and spiritual conversation, engaging with the powerful technological influences of our time: machine learning, computer visioning and artificial intelligence.
Below: previously created mural on the same site 'We Are One Family', design won through public vote, curated by Bolanle Tajudeen and created by artists Azarra Amoy and Linett Kamala, with over 400 votes received for this design.
Artist-led workshops are held with a group of women before the mural is created.
The workshops foster well-being and a sense of community among female-only attendees. Participants will leave with a piece of art and a new skill from the sessions. Massages, catering and childcare are provided to make sure rest and relaxation are the maximised. Attendees also engage with Black art histories and creative practices, giving everyone the opportunity to learn untold stories in an intimate environment, as well as publicly engage with these stories when the mural is complete.
The artists will be creating three designs that respond to the theme of rest, taking into account the conversations and stories shared during the workshops. The three designs will be listed here and open to public vote, with the winning design being used for the mural. Holding a public vote for the previous mural gave us the chance to be open with the community, giving them the freedom to directly influence what is displayed in the area.
A public symposium will be held later in the year to support the conversation of Rest & reflection, to constitute a session of talks around the artwork and its themes: art as a tool for wellness and Black artists in the public art sphere. We hope that having various conversations will provide many different gateways and entry points for different publics interested in the local community and the visual arts to come together to discuss and celebrate the project.
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