Art Piece From Around Town: SLG

Donald Rodney: The House that Jack Built (1987)
Lubaina Himid: We Will Be (1985) and Zarina Bhimji: Untitled (1989)
Gavin Jantjes: A South African Colouring Book (1974-75), detail

Only 3 weeks left to see ‘The Place is Here’, a strikingly timely and (disturbingly) relevant exhibition of works by 25 artists interrogating race, gender and politics. The works installed at the start of the show provide the context within which and in response to which many of the pieces were generated – Margaret Thatcher’s anti-immigration policies, discrimination against black citizens and subsequent rioting – and then progress more firmly towards elaborating on black feminism and emerging discourse on black identity, including queerness.

The overall feeling oozing from the exhibition curated by Nick Aikens and dedicated to the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire is one of pushing against the obstacles and asserting new ways/forms/desires of existence of those unequally situated in the arts and society. The deep and seriously meant resolution to remain (the place is HERE and NOW, after all) and work, inform, make visible and pursue, conveyed by Lubaina Himid, Sonia Boyce, Marlene Smith and others, is a lasting testament to the indomitable spirit and compelling creativity arising in the 70s/80s and illuminating us until today.


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