Visibility and the black female body in contemporary art
Thank you for your wonderful insights in this post, Victoria. I hadn't heard of Barbara Walker's work before so it was fascinating to read about her Windrush project. Her 2024 exhibition at the Whitworth in Manchester is sure to be great, and I hope it transfers to London.
What brilliant, thoughtful, brave artists. Great article, Victoria, I've learnt so much. I didn't really engage very much with the history of the Windrush scandal so some of this was new to me, to my shame.
Powerful work on a huge topic. For school this semester (grad program, Visual and Critical Studies) we read a chapter by Nicole Fleetwood called Excess Flesh: Black Women Performing Hypervisibility that relates to this and I'm looking forward to going back to that article and looking for the connections with your piece here. Thank you for doing this work.
My own writing and research is in the niche of how art and mental health are related - including the less-discussed shadow side of how mental health symptoms impact creative process and content. Happy to exchange ideas if you'd find it at all helpful when you get to that theme in your work.
Thanks again for another thought-provoking post (I tend to read them as can see the images too). I look forward to the stimulation of your next season.
The expression of that contradictory and confusing feeling of invisibility and hyper-visibility is fascinating and truthfully addressed by both artists.
Congrats on another compelling season. So happy to see your podcast continue and grow. Look forward to the informal posts as well!
Love this topic and Walker’s work especially. I found it so moving in person. I did a lot of research previously on invisible women in HK — mainly from India and the Philippines — often with the same kind of role you discuss. The truth is too far reaching. Interesting and important to consider the specific context in the U.K. now with all the debates over immigration. This group is one that’s scapegoated for so many problems when people don’t realise they are supporting society in so many ways. AND that they are individual humans with the same desires and ideas and potential as all the “others.” Thanks for another great topic.
I just watched both linked videos and so appreciate hearing these artists’ perspectives. Their messages are so powerful and important. Learning about the black experience (in the UK and USA) has been so enlightening and enraging, especially realizing how sheltered many (most?) white people are from it by design. These amazing women are doing the social, political, and cathartic work (beautifully and skillfully) that will truly change the world for the better. At least I hope. Thank you for shining a light on them and bringing them into my schema.
Is the exhibition at the Courtauld still on (I'm googling) but it looks fantastic. Thank you so much for this, I hadn't heard of either of these artists before. The Gospel Oak letter is heartbreaking