Retrospective

In 1969 Samella S Lewis and Ruth G Waddy, two African American women, published the first edition of Black Artists on Art, and the second in 1971. These two volumes meticulously documented the Black underground art movement that echoed Gil Scott Heron's famous phrase, "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised". 

 

Artists during that period presented a visual documentation of the political backlash against racism but also documented the spiritual revolution that was happening in the very heart of America.  The UK followed suit, creatively mirroring the struggle that was taking place in the mother land and in other parts of the world. 

 

UK Black musicians fashioned their own revolution that sounded uniquely British which eventually broke its way into the mainstream.  And alongside that movement of sound, far from the eyes of the press, the Black artists responded with their own visual aesthetics against a society and a media where there was little to no Black representation.

From the late 1980s, my career danced between the world of advertising and the fine arts.  But within those arenas, I pursued my own creative projects borrowing media from both worlds and using the materials in a way that  sat outside conventions of the time.   Much of what was created by UK Black artists who supported those movements has not been widely seen, including much of my early work.  Here is a selection of images from my own private collections that gives a flavour of the different ways design/fine arts shared the same space in the aesthetics of what I wanted to say.