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Photofusion presents BLK BXY JOY a collaborative exhibition by a young generation of POC artists

Updated: Feb 22, 2022

Curated by Destinie Paige, a London based filmmaker, photographer and set designer, Photofusion presents BLK BXY JOY, a collaborative exhibition by a young generation of artists of colour who are redefining the picture of the Black experience.

Nico Froehlich – South of the River

Paige’s vision is to put a spotlight on unseen and under-represented artists who want to present a picture of the black experience that moves away from trauma. After a year in development, BLK BXY JOY is the realisation of that vision. This exhibition draws together fourteen emerging artists including photographers Karis Beaumont, Ryan Prince Cian Oba-Smith whose work celebrates new visions of black masculinity and femininity. The show, which opened on the 3rd of February 2022, brings together photography, moving image, painting, and sculpture.

In the main gallery, new works including Afrofuturist sculptures from PJ Harper and candid photographs of ball culture by Tolu Elusadé, reflecting the ways young artists are blending fantasy, performance and the everyday into a picture of ‘being black’. “I like to celebrate blackness, I like to celebrate the queer experience, I like to celebrate colour. I hope that the subjects of my work feel seen and that their joy is worthy of being captured” says Elusadé. Following in the footsteps of pioneers in West African studio photography like Samuel Fosso and Seydou Keita, artists Joshua Odulate and Ryan Prince look at how staging is being used to unpick questions about family, culture, and style. In the upper pod space, works from Joel Claudio, Cian Oba-Smith, and Renee Maria Osubu explore the potential of collaboration to reframe how the ‘endz’ are portrayed.

Paige, who has been a long-term mentee in Photofusion's mentoring programme (#madeatpf) and youth collective S2AU, partnered with long term collaborator Sarah Fletcher to transform Photofusion’s gallery space. Breaking from the norms of white cube spaces, the two have designed an experience that recolours the gallery and immerses its the audience in the ambience of the black jazz experience. To realise her vision, Paige was awarded a Black Women's artist grant (Dec 2021) from Ronan's McKenzie's HOME space.

You can now book tickets to see our latest exhibition BLK BXY JOY. The exhibition will be open to view on 4th Feb until 3rd March. Register for tickets here.

Renee Maria Osubu – Play Street from Dear Philadelphia

Cian Oba-Smith – Concrete Horsemen

Terna Jogo – Arinze and the Butterfly


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