Black artists converge for Hastings exhibition

A new exhibition in Hastings will feature more than 40 black artists from south-east England.
Anita J McKenzie: Ancestor OneAnita J McKenzie: Ancestor One
Anita J McKenzie: Ancestor One

Black Joy! Up Close and Personal runs from Saturday, May 4-Sunday, August 25 at Hastings Gallery & Art Museum, Hastings, TN34 1ET, the latest exhibition from arts and social justice organisation Playing The Race Card.

The exhibition includes artists Femi Dawkins (winner of the Gieskes-Strijbis Podiumprijs 2022), Yeside Linney (Women In The Arts prize winner 2022) and Dorcas Magbadelo (Etsy Design Awards 2023, Art category).

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The exhibition is curated by artist, activist and educator Lorna Hamilton-Brown and supported by Home Live Art.

Lorna said: “Each piece reflects the resilience, beauty and the spirit of Black Joy. A counteractive response to the systemic racism and oppression of Black people, Black Joy is a term representing the authentic expression of self-love and empowerment within the black community. The one-of-a-kind exhibition will display artworks in various mediums including painting, sign-writing, fashion, textiles, sculpture, collage, photography and video.”

Lorna added: “Black people are not a monolith so we all experience or express Black Joy in different ways. For me, Black Joy is the deliberate act of finding pleasure and happiness in whatever you do despite your situation. The show features artists at different stages of their careers. Together with the artist's statement that accompanies the work, the viewer will gain a personal insight into the artist’s thoughts and intentions. I do not want this to be a show that is solely about how the artworks look. I want the viewer to get a sense of the artist's thought process and feelings without the artist being present.”

The exhibition follows the success of Playing The Race Card's 2022 exhibition where 25 artists from the south-east explored the nuanced challenges experienced by the black community as a result of ongoing structural racism.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Hastings resident Claudine Eccleston started Playing The Race Card in 2020 in response to her own experiences of the term.

Claudine said: “This exhibition is far-reaching and sparks conversations about race and social justice using diverse art forms by talented artists. I hope that it will empower change and understanding.

“Black Joy! Up Close and Personal is a heartfelt tribute to black culture, resistance and happiness, with joy as its central theme. The exhibition is complemented by a programme of live events, including performances, workshops, talks and tours.”

For more information visit The gallery opening hours are Tuesday-Saturday, 10am-5pm, and Sundays, 11am-4.30pm. It is free entry and there is free parking.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Playing the Race Card creates a town-wide conversation on race, identity and social justice through thought-provoking exhibitions etc. Home Live Art is an artist-led, queer-led creative organisation based in Hastings. It is dedicated to developing new sites and audiences for culture by supporting artists.

Related topics: