I'm HOME exhibition: black female photographers, featuring the black female experience
My love for women and everything they do, it's so big that I love to find some amazing work to feature every week.
This week I came across "I'm HOME" exhibition at Blank 100, an amazing local space in the De Beauvoir town.
I'm HOME is an exhibition curated by Ronan McKenzie, showcasing the work of Rhea Dillon, Liz Johnson-Artur and Joy Gregory. It brings together four black British women with very different outlooks and experiences, resulting in a thought-provoking reflection on identity.
The idea, as Ronan McKenzie was telling me, in a really nice chat we had this morning, came to her last summer (2017). She started to think about her work in an exhibition context. She realised that since her 2015 show "A Black Body" that solely lived online, in the pages of a magazines or within her publication HARD EARS. So She becomes to think about other times when she had seen the work of other Black British Female photographers, which unsurprisingly was not very often.
That summer she visited the Tate's "Soul of a Nation" exhibition where she was able to see some work of Black artists - and first discovered the work of Joy Gregory, but still she felt a huge lack of representation of the Black experience, and more specifically, of the Black British Female experience.
By December she decided that she would put on a show, but a show that wasn't in a space filled with "white people, white walls and white wine" but a place where her own work could sit comfortably, and people could engage with it more than just seeing it and never looking back. The ideas was to create a space that encouraged people to sit down, enjoy and return.
For Ronan McKenzie Home is a concept that it's so much more than the house or the country she lives in, where not necessary she feels as her home. Both her parents are Caribbean so she was interested in understanding what home means to other artists that express themselves through photography. And what home means for other black British female photographers. But rather that using this identity as a unifying factor, I'm HOME is creating a space for this identity to flourish in myriad ways.
The space has been furnished to create a homely feel, visitors can pull up a chair and peruse the contents of a library curated by writer Rianna Jade Parker.
The show is providing “a place of learning, development and conversation” and encourage “cultural exchange, intergenerational conversation and a sharing of skills”.
The exhibition opened at Dalston arts space Blank100 on October 27, and is hosting a varied programme of events – including a supper club by Jamaican plant-based dining venture OOM, a self-portrait workshop with Joy Miessi and Bernice Mulenga, a workshop with Nadine Ijewere and a life drawing class hosted by Our Naked Truths. And also an evening of film screenings with Eloise King.
If you're around Dalston this weekend, this is a great place to spend your Sunday morning. "I’m Home" is open until tomorrow November 4 at Blank 100, 100 De Beauvoir Rd, Unit 5, London N1 4EN. You can see the full programme of events and book tickets here and see more of McKenzie’s work at ronanmckenzie.co.uk.
Photo by: Mattias Pettersson