Modern Art Oxford’s summer collaboration with artists and communities features creative residencies, live events and major new commissions by artists including a-n member Harold Offeh. Working in a range of media including performance, video, photography, learning and social arts practice, Offeh is interested in the space created by the inhabiting or embodying of histories. He employs humour as a means to confront the viewer with historical narratives and contemporary culture.
Other artists whose work is on display include Julie Freeman, who translates complex processes and data from natural sources into kinetic sculptures, physical objects, images, sound compositions, animations and VR & AR. Meanwhile, Oxford-based sculptor, painter and photographer Deborah Pill explores aspects of place, memory and association held in objects and gesture.
In addition, Tanzanian interdisciplinary artist and writer Valerie Asiimwe Amani’s practice interrogates the ways in which body erotics, language, place and perceived reality are used to situate (or isolate) the self within community.
Until 29 October 2023, Modern Art Oxford modernartoxford.org.uk
This exhibition examines the historical representation and shifting legacy of Black women in visual culture. Curated by Aindrea Emelife, BLACK VENUS brings together the work of 18 Black women and non-binary artists to explore the ‘othering, fetishisation and reclamation of narratives around Black femininity’.
With over 40 contemporary and primarily photographic artworks, the show’s contemporary works offer a radical affront to a centuries-long dynamic of objectification, showcasing all that Black womanhood can be and has always been.
Participating artists include a-n members Sonia Boyce and Tabita Rezaire, alongside Widline Cadet, Shawanda Corbett, Renee Cox, Delphine Diallo, Ayana V Jackson, Zanele Muholi, Amber Pinkerton, Coreen Simpson, Lorna Simpson, Ming Smith, Maud Sulter, Kara Walker, Maxine Walker, Carrie Mae Weems, Alberta Whittle and Carla Williams.
Until 24 September, Somerset House, London www.somersethouse.org.uk
Award-winning charity Outside In’s national open exhibition, which features 80 artworks on the theme of ‘humanity’, opens at Project Ability in Glasgow. This is the second leg of a national tour for the exhibition, which initially opened at Sotheby’s in London earlier this year, and which finish at Brighton & Hove Museums in November.
Established in 2006 to assist artists who encounter significant barriers due to health, disability, social circumstance or isolation, this year’s national call-out attracted a record number of entries by 500 artists. 80 have been selected for this show, although images by all applicants will be viewable to view in the space.
The exhibition includes the work of Hull based a-n member Greg Bromley, who by day is a social worker but by night becomes a ‘Cosmic Wormhole and multiverse fantasist’. Through his paintings he seeks spirituality in the wonder of the macro and micro universe, with the resulting images offering a surreal, abstract and character driven experience.
Other highlights blind artist Lynn Cox’s sculpture and previously homeless artist John Sheehy, who didn’t start painting until in his 50s. The exhibition also includes a performance piece by queer autistic artist Naoimh MacNamee, who confronts gender non-conformity in their work, a replica of Stone Henge made from artist Simon Le Boggit’s kidney stones and ceramics by learning disabled artist Horace Lindezey, who works from Venture Arts supported studios in Manchester.
12 August to 16 September 2023, Project Ability, Glasgow project-ability.co.uk
Ayo Akingbade: Show Me The World Mister
This solo show from a-n member Ayo Akingbade features two brand new film commissions entitled The Fist and Faluyi. Both films were shot in Nigeria and explore Akingbade’s interest in history, placemaking, legacy, and power.
The Fist studies the first Guinness brewery built outside of the UK and Ireland, located on the edge of Lagos. Completed in 1962 after Nigeria’s independence from Britain, the brewery is a place where histories of industrialisation and labour collide. Shot using a 35mm camera, the film follows workers managing the assembly and packing lines, while drawing attention to the deep-rooted politics distilled within Guinness’ production.
Akingbade’s second work Faluyi follows protagonist Ife on a journey tracing familial legacy and mysticism. Shot using 16mm in the Idanre Hills – a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Ondo State and the birthplace of Akingbade’s parents – the film explores the artist’s personal relationship with Nigeria. Panoramic views of hills and forests form the backdrop to this sensitive tale of longing and loss, hope and celebration.
Until 7 October, John Hansard Gallery, Southampton jhg.art
Women of Colour Art Award 2022-23: Resonance
This bi-annual art award recognises the ‘inequities and additional barriers that Women of Colour systemically face in their practice as visual artists’. It provides financial and developmental support to assist UK based artists and artist collectives of all ages at a key point in their career.
This year’s second edition of the award, artists were selected via an open call, with all applications reviewed by a judging panel consisting of Marlene Smith, Julia Forson and Amal Khalaf.
Amongst the selection are London based multidisciplinary artist and a-n member Joyce Treasure. After graduating with a BA Hons in Black Studies from Birmingham City University in 2020, her practice explores how changing climates affect bodies, places, and well-being by intersecting politics, care, and satire. Transforming an assemblage of objects and images into allegories of experiences, she operates between collage, sculpture, painting, drawings, performance, film and speculative writing.
Until 13 August 2023, 198 Contemporary Arts & Learning, London www.newexhibitions.com/e/61246
Headway East London: differently various
The largest exhibition created by and for artists with acquired brain injury, ‘differently various’ is the result of a pioneering collaboration between the Barbican Centre and charity Headway East London. Co-curated by a steering group of artists and members from Headway East London, this multi-faceted exhibition celebrates the community and creativity of people living with brain injury, highlighting a wide variety of neurodiverse art.
Showcasing art as diverse as their community – created at their on-site studio, Submit to Love – visitors are invited to challenge views on who gets to make and present artwork in institutions like the Barbican.
The nine-day takeover includes stories about brain injury through video, audio and print material, alongside unique artwork.
Until 6 August 2023, The Curve, Barbican Centre, London www.barbican.org.uk
The Gilbert Bayes Award
a-n members Catriona Robertson, Lewis Davidson, Veronika Neukirch, Yambe Tam and Zara Ramsay feature alongside artists Emily Woolley, Iwona Rozbiewska, Louisa Johnson, Rosalie Wammes and Sasha Tishkov in this group show at The Art House, Wakefield.
The annual Gilbert Bayes Award provides vital support for early-career sculptors during what can be a difficult transition from their studies to professional practice. Presented by The Royal Society of Sculptors, this collaborative exhibition brings some of the most outstanding talents working within the field of sculpture production to Wakefield – a place with a renewed reputation as a city of sculpture.
A wide range of themes are explored, from investigations of space and architecture to commentary on culture and social issues, from the environment to other-worldly realities.
Until 12 August 2023, The Arthouse, Wakefield the-arthouse.org.uk
Having worked from their studios and workshops in London for more than 30 years, a-n members Helen Carnac and David Gates relocated their home and working lives to rural Somerset in the winter of 2020.
Both artist-makers gather source material and visual imagery while they walk the surrounding landscapes, and are drawn to human interventions in the landscape – agricultural structures, infrastructure, as well as the folds and textures of worked land. Their work is grounded in observation, and is embedded in places and topographies. Carnac focuses on the micro detail of surface patination – rust, corrosion and lichen, while Gates works from macro elements of architectural features – silos, farm buildings and pylons.
Having for so long worked with the imagery and material of the lower reaches of the River Thames and its estuarine landscape, moving to Somerset has led to a necessary process of assessment and recontextualisation. The work on display here, which was produced during this transitional period, features a collection of resource, research, and contextualisation materials assembled by the artists.
Until 9 September 2023, Hauser & Wirth, Make, Somerset www.hauserwirth.com
Top image: Harold Offeh, Joy Inside Our Tears, 2022