Settled series; An Essence of G, Uncle, 2011 oil on canvas, Loleithaart
One Sunday afternoon, as I visited my Uncle and family, we were all chilled out after our lovely meal of chicken, rice and peas, mac and cheese, roast potatoes and an array of vegetables; topped off with a cool drink, a choice of pineapple juice or Ribena on ice. He, of course, fell asleep, so I seized the opportunity to take his picture, as he sat with his eyes closed he reminded me of the Malcolm X pose, finger laid up by the side of his face, while contemplating or in deep thought. I went home that evening and was happy. I had a canvas ready. I started to sketch out his image and painted until 4 am in the morning, I didn’t realise the time, as I was so in the zone.
My painting portrays: I captured him ‘Settled’, at peace he has made his home, provided for his children and others (adopting in people who, were in need along the way), (an essence of G, uncle), and now chilling content with his family around him laughing and chattering away as we do. Being around him always reminds me of my mum, she has passed now. “Gone to sleep”, as he would say…
The picture above shows Uncle viewing the painting for the first time. The installation was all about our family tree and identity. You can see he has the same clothes on, that I painted him in. Hahaha! Priceless!
An exhibition of Black British art at the Guildhall Art Gallery represented race and identity in the art world in Britain throughout the years. Particularly capturing 1960 to 1990s.
I was really interested in the artwork titled. ‘UK school report’ 1983, Tam Joseph. His triptych painting depicted a young BME man and the perception of him during his life in the education system. The colours used are illustrating the perceptions of his stereotyped character. I got it immediately probably because I’ve witnessed the stereotyping. #cultural lens.
The ‘No Colour Bar‘ was an exhibition July 2015 to January 2016; to celebrate Black British Art in Action since 1960 to 1990 at the Guildhall Art Gallery.
This exhibition was created to reach communities in the UK who were of the global Diaspora. Literature was on display many reflecting the Wind Rush era and education or lack of, home life and style of the time for the Afro-Caribbean culture, settling in the UK.
The artists’ of the Black Art Group, shared interests of their Black African-Caribbean Identity. Artist’ included Errol Lloyd, Eddie Chambers, Sonia Boyce, ( I would love to meet her) and Denzil Forrester. The name of this exhibition took its name from ‘the colour bar’ which was unofficially and formally segregated racial communities. ‘No Colour Bar’ is brought to life the period of cultural heritage via a bookshop called Bogle-L’Ouverture (an installation). The book shop was first opened in 1969 which held lectures, workshops and promoted campaigns for equality and academic referencing. The Huntley Archives presented here was noted that it gIves Black History, discrimination and details of colonialism through art and literature.
This exhibition reminded me of a book titled The Front Room
‘The Front Room’ book I showed to my dad and we discussed and laughed at some of the items in there, purely because we owned them too. It was pure euphoria, pleasant memories of my childhood. And for my dad, I believe ownership and the making of a home, since coming here from when he was 20 years old …He told me that at 14 years old he used to deliver the Labour newspaper in Barbados (St Phillip), on his bike before school. He goes, on to tell me how he came by plane, first to Juno, Italy, before finally coming to the UK. …we sat continuing our conversation as my daughters listened on intensively about granddad’s adventure as a young man. I have always called my dad the black Sid James. Because he sounds just like him, especially the laugh.
The images were for a series about family and identity in my 2nd year at Universtiy. The installation was titled ‘Settled’.
The ‘Settled’ ties in with my background of being Black British. My Family tree is dated back to 1880; I am a descendant of Albertha Grovsner Boxill, born in Barbados.