Online Exhibition - Beauty and Power
Alternative Arts presents ten black artists who have been invited to exhibit their photography at the Brady Arts Centre during Black History Month. Covid confinement has inspired a series of stunning portraits and observations about Motherhood, Superheroes, Identity and Rituals past and present. The show is a celebration of black culture, perception and moving personal experience. The exhibition is also on display at the Brady Arts Centre from 1–27 October.
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The artists behind the art
Bettina Adela - Black Lives Matter
These moments were captured during the Black Lives Matter March for Libya which took place in London, July 2016. The peaceful protest saw hundreds of people in attendance all in support of making a human rights stand and saying NO to slavery.
Asiko - The Hero that Looks Like Me
In 2018 I worked with a Talent agency on a campaign about representation and young black children.
We created a series of portraits inspired by the movie posters of Marvel's Black Panther. The images highlight how representation matters for black ethnic minorities by photographing children as the Marvel characters from the film.
The message of the shoot was to empower young black girls and boys by seeing themselves as superheroes in the mainstream media and knowing they can aspire to greater heights. There is nothing more powerful than seeing someone who looks like you on the big screen.
Denise Ebanks - The Lifetime Between Us
His voice was deep and smooth as silk. Draped in heavy, chunky gold and diamond jewellery he designed and made himself.
All gone now. He was loved by all, especially me. Dad worked in Hatton Garden when I was young and he used to take me to work with him. I adored my Dad.
When we were growing up he used to play the guitar for us and recite poetry he had learned from school. Dad and I were inseparable back then. When did it change? When did it change back?
Adaeze Ihebom - Cultural Identity
This series of images was inspired by 'Things fall Apart' by Chinua Achebe which traces the evolution of family identity from pre-colonial, through colonial and post-colonial times.
In this set of self-portraits, I performatively explore women from various periods of history. As fictional characters I construct their identities through costume, performance and the act of naming and dating the images.
Dexter McLean - The Community of Tower Avenue, Kingston, Jamaica
A set of black and white portraits capturing the people of Olympic Gardens in Tower Avenue, Kingston, the town where I was born.
Aisha Northeast - Dualities os a Mixed Race Woman
Black, White, Ugly, Beautiful. These images illustrate the dualities of being mixed race and celebrate individuality in the process.
Olufemi Olaiya - Sisi Eko and the Unsung
Sisi Eko (Lagos Lady) – exploring 1960s fashion in Africa, particularly in Lagos Nigeria, shedding some light on how colonialism influenced the way we dressed, how our sense of style evolved during that decade and our studio photography experience.
The Unsung – Kings African Rifle. These images idolise and shed light on the contributions and sacrifices made in WW1 and WW2 by our gallant African soldiers in the then British African Colonial units who, regardless of their tribe, belief and religion, fought alongside other indigenous communities and volunteers to protect the British Empire and interests.
Most importantly they fought for their motherland and dignity. Yet are hardly spoken of or celebrated as one might expect.
Keleenna Onjeaka - Re-visualising my Identity
'Looking Back' are portraits that serve as a timeline of male Igbo fashion from more than 100 years ago.
Banye (Aggressive) is an intuitive and playful attempt at creating masquerade aesthetic.
Contemporary Diasporic Masquerade – Growing up Masquerades were a unique representation of my Igbo culture which I have rediscovered through a process of creating playful images.
Dola Posh - Omo Mi - my Child
Omo Mi – ‘my child’. This series explores the delicate and life-changing experience of being a new mother. After relocating to the UK, the photographer struggled to find her feet, resulting in loneliness, weight loss and a decline in her mental health.
Due to this she found she was unable to have a child. But just before she started treatment she got the most wonderful news that she was with child.
From then on she began documenting her pregnancy journey, motherhood and promises to celebrate her daughter every day. She has now dedicated this project to her.
Shainy Vilo - Self-love, Grounding and Growth
Based in Britain the French black multidisciplinary artist Shainy Vilo is currently focusing on photography to document and explore identities surrounding them.
260421 is an experimental video project which was inspired by their own ritual performed for the super pink full moon on 26 April 2021. This short project reflects on releasing self-love, grounding and growth whilst in gratitude to the elements and nature.