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Monday, 31 August 2015

The Black British Girlhood Exhibition

By Olivia Twist
The Black British Girlhood exhibition took place earlier this month in Hackney Central. I initially knew nothing about the show, not until my friend from the US tagged me in a photo on Instagram which advertised the show (Thanks Faith!)

A number of artists came together to present -'The Black Britsh Girlhood' where a group of talented women displayed memories and nostalgic moments of their childhood through illustrations, graphics, photography and painting. I had never been to an exhibition like this before, and felt overjoyed that it had been done. An exhibition I could not only understand but relate to as the artists portrayed and descriptively explained experiences and memories of their own childhood and shared views on displacement, belonging and the cultural hybrid that exists being born British yet still having an undeniable bond to their African/Caribbean heritage and backgrounds. Curator Bekke Popoola mentions the parallels in having a dual nationality, being British and Nigerian “I would say that inside my home was Nigeria and outside of that was England.” The event was ever so nostalgic, reminding me of my own experiences growing up. One of the artists Olivia Mathurin-Essandoh also known as Olivia Twist mention despite being and only child she was never alone, as she always surrounded my family (cousins in particular). As I read this on the wall alongside her stunning artwork my own childhood memories I had flashbacks of my own childhood in my mind.

Here is just a few of the artwork by artists who took part in the show.

I ask both Olivia Mathurin-Essandoh and Bekke Popoola why they had decided to take part in this courageous display of artwork.

YASMIN: Why did you take part in the Black British Girlhood Exhibition?

OLIVIA: "I want to see myself in galleries, I want to spot my mother brother and uncle in piece. In order for this to happen. I have noticed we have to create what we want to see. We cant wait for it just to appear. I just graduated from university of the arts london and every term there are big exhibitions up and i rarely saw myself represented in the work. I decided i will no longer be invisible in the academic art world."
YASMIN: What do you want to your audience to understand/see about your work?

OLIVIA: "I want my audience to be encouraged i want my audience to share experiences. I want to unify my audience through my work. I want to highlight similarities and most of all I want to celebrate with this familiar audience whilst teaching a new audience."

To find out more about Olivia and future exhibitions +olivia twist / 

YASMIN: Why did you take part in the Black British Girlhood Exhibition?

BEKKE: "Doing this exhibtion was something that is needed and wanted to explore. Also  to share stories with others too."

By Bekke Popoola
YASMIN:What advice would you give your young Becky (10y/o) now?

BEKKE:"I would say that it's okay to enjoy the things you do and create and she is cool."

 To find out more about Bekke and future exhibitions +Becky popoola / Twitter 

By Kay Davis
By Kay Davis
By Rachel Mfon


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