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6 art exhibitions by black artists to discover in London right now

Updated: Oct 22, 2022

We're always on the look out for exhibitions, installations and experiences by Black creatives and artists in the UK. And this month is no different. With the background of Black History Month, there have been an array of amazing events throughout October, with even more to come.

Read on for some of the best Black-owned exhibitions this month and beyond, to visit and support.

Sidenote: The annual tokenistic support of Black artists every October isn't something we're here for. Shout out the galleries and institutions supporting Black creatives all year round.

The Bigger Picture by Ben F. Jones

198 Contemporary Arts and Learning, Herne Hill

10 Sept – 23 Oct 2022

At a time when narrow, nationalist movements and partial, partisan perspectives are expanding dangerously, Ben Jones’s work invites us to open up our cultural horizons to see the complexities and beauty of our world in a broader frame. The Bigger Picture extends the artist’s long-standing exploration of the connections and relationships between the multiple, challenging issues we face as a global community. Through paintings, wallpaper, installations and digital formats, The Bigger Picture maps the disruptions that are happening in our world, inviting the viewer to engage with the interconnecting issues that confront our planet and humanity.

The exhibition charts an evolution of themes and subjects in the artist’s work ranging from critical responses to Black Lives Matter and the ongoing global climate crisis to more recent concerns about the impact of technology in fostering transcultural and intergenerational connections and disruptions in our lives.

Belonging as Other by Shaye Gregan

HOME by rm, Hornsey

Sep 29 - Oct 30, 2022

Shaye Gregan, a London-based Melbourne-born artist and striking acrylic painter, created work who often creates work centred around the experiences of marginalised racial community. Shaye's solo exhibition at the HOME space in Hornsey is an exploration of belonging and nostalgia.

"To belong, is to breathe. Inhale, exhale, knowing you are safe, knowing you are loved. We are communal beings. We always have been. Many of us do not have a community to call on. It is my wish, that one day, we all breathe, inhale, exhale, knowing we are safe, knowing we are loved.

These pieces are about feeling lost, and feeling found."

Architecture of Tropical Space by Alain Joséphine

Tafeta Gallery, Great Russell Street

7 October - 4 November 2022

A collection of vibrant abstract paintings by Guadeloupe-based artist Alain Joséphine. The large acrylic-on-canvas works contrast light, shade and flights of colour that celebrate the topography of the islands of Martinique, while positioning life in a tropical environment as a daily confrontation with the power of nature.

Column of Rythmn by Tadesse Mesfin

Addis Fine Art, 21 Eastcastle St

13 October - 12 November 2022

Tadesse holds a unique position as both a figurehead of the Ethiopian modernist movement and as a long-time educator through his role as a professor at the influential Alle School of Fine Art and Design in Addis Ababa. Tadesse’s latest work is a continuation of his ongoing series celebrating the women who work as small-holder vendors in markets scattered across Ethiopian cities, who can typically be found standing or crouched down with their agricultural produce scattered in front of them, hoping to entice the eye of potential customers. As a visual paean to them, Tadesse places their occupations and personae front and centre, and the viewer is encouraged to appreciate their importance to the communities they serve.

Gloire Immortelle by Rachidi Bissiriou

David Hill Gallery, Ladbroke Grove

May - 18 November 2022

Though the West African photographer set up his photographic studio in 1968, Bissiriou’s images are remarkable for their simplicity and a freshness that feels utterly contemporary. “Shot against plain backdrops, or in the town where they lived, Bissiriou’s subjects posed wearing their own clothing, which could range Fram traditional West African attire such as grand boubou, head wraps and Ankara agbadas, to more modern styles that nodded to the explosion in youth culture at the time.” - Kin Woo

Upon this rock by Rene Matić

South London Gallery, Peckham

23 September - 27 November 2022

Upon this rock is a solo exhibition by British artist Rene Matić. It will continue their long-term interrogation of ‘Britishness’, exploring how the nation’s past manifests in its present. The exhibition will also address themes of subculture, faith and family. A new installation of bronze and wood sculptures focuses on the figure of ‘the crucified skinhead’ – a long-standing symbol used to convey a sense of persecution and alienation. Matić’s work frequently makes reference to the Skinhead movement, which originally emerged in the mid-1960s as a cultural exchange between Caribbean and white working-class communities.


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