British artists recreate ‘Great Day in Harlem’ image for Black History Month | black historical month

Old and upcoming black artists will be photographed together, to mark the 40th anniversary of the start of the British Black Arts Movement, as part of a series of events for black historical month in October.

The Black Cultural ArchivesHeadquartered in south London, it will celebrate the occasion by paying homage to the classic 1958 Great day in Harlem Photo by organizing a group portrait of black artists who were part of the original movement along with emerging talent.

The National Black Arts Conventionwhich in 1982 inspired the launch of the British Black Arts Movement, has propelled the careers of many artists, including Keith Piper and Sonya Boyce.

Lisa Anderson, Managing Director of Black Cultural Archives, said the decision to re-create the image to mark the 40th anniversary since the launch of the British Black Art movement was due to a desire to “document the community”.

She added, “I want to celebrate the community, and I want to have a sense of the importance of documentation through photography.

“We wanted to enrich the archive, particularly the way the archive represents the history of some of the leading and emerging art makers from the black community.”

Anderson added that they were borrowing the concept from Tomorrow’s Warriors, a British jazz organization that last year praised Harlem’s image with a music day called Great day in London.

“We are borrowing the concept because we haven’t seen any photograph documenting black British visual artists, and I think it would create help for people to go and do more research and be involved in their history, as well as to inspire people to pursue their passion for visual art.”

Charlie Phillips, who will capture the moment and who has been considered one of Greatest British photographersHe said his participation in the project was due to a desire to “document our history.”

“There’s a gap missing in our history, because not much has been documented by us, for us,” Phillips said.

Also this month, Brent Council will unveil a new public artwork in one of its gardens, in order to memorialize the victims of the transatlantic slave trade after scrutiny over naming the park after a former British prime minister with links to the slave trade.

The artwork, called The Anchor, The Drum, The Ship, after Gladstone Park, named after former Prime Minister William Gladstone, was commissioned for review in 2020 as part of the Committee on Diversity in the Public Domain, which reviewed the statues, street names and landmarks to ensure that they reflect London’s rich and diverse history and represent all Londoners.

Three anchor flower basins, Akan symbol of the drum and the ship
Flower beds in Gladstone Park are shaped as an Akan symbol for the drum, ship, and mooring to evoke themes of immigration and belonging. Photography: Aaron Morrison Azul de Monte

Gladstone’s father, who was one of the largest slave owners in the Caribbean, received the largest compensation ever offered by the Slave Compensation Commission.

Lynette Kamala, Director of Notting Hill Carnival and Founder Lin Kam Artswho will unveil the artwork, said that in addition to commemorating the victims of the slave trade, it represented “the huge and wonderful contribution that the town’s black community has made.”

Kamala added: “The park has a number of murals, but none that reflects the transatlantic slave trade, despite the park’s name. [after] Prime Minister’s father who got the biggest [slavery] Payout “.

“The artwork will be a place, hopefully, where people will gather, where we can have these conversations.”

Aaron Morrison wearing a hat
Aaron Morrison designed the landscape of the garden to open questions to the people facing the mural in the garden. Photo: James Allan

Aaron Morrison, the artist behind the mural, said he was interested in creating an installation that “opened questions to someone he encountered in the garden without being over-directed.

“I was also trying to create a perspective to think about the allegorical potential of plants, as well as the history of the park and the history of the Gladstone family,” he added.

In Glasgow, . was created David Livingston Birthplace Museum It will host events celebrating black Scottish art and culture.

The event, called Our Stories Between the Myths and Memories, was programmed by the Scottish-Zimbabwean artist. Natasha Thimpiso RonaIt will showcase works by artists and creators from across the Afro-Scottish diaspora.

“I am really excited to be able to bring together so many wonderful creative practitioners from the Afro-Scottish diaspora in one place and celebrate their contributions to the creative sector,” said Thembiso Ruwona.

She added: “This project talks about our past, our present and our potential future examining the history, culture and identity of Scots Scots. It is also a timely occurrence that will highlight the work of David Livingston Birthplace as they consider the role of museums in honest storytelling, by asking important questions about legacy and memory.”

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