New visual arts exhibitions to reflect on the legacies of colonialism

Graham Robson May 20, 2021

A new visual arts programme will present 10 diverse artists across two exhibitions and three venues as part of this year’s Brighton Fringe from May 21 to July 25.

Sussex-based socially engaged arts agency urbanflo Creative has launched the six-month OXYGEN series, which will continue until October and aims to open up a powerful new lens to explore the human condition and new narratives from the perspective of communities still impacted by the legacies of colonialism.

The breathTAKING exhibition at Phoenix Main Gallery is curated by urbanflo founder/director Jenni Lewin-Turner and offers a rare mainstream platform for local artists to present bold new multi-disciplinary interpretations, through illustration, digital art, spoken word and video, plus leading edge works using virtual reality, augmented reality and facial detection. Guest creatives include Judith Ricketts, Josef Cabey, River Sweeney and AFLO. the Poet.

The Covert exhibition at Jubilee Library and Plus X Innovation Hub takes its inspiration from the gypsy fortune-teller of Brighton Pier penny arcades’ yesteryears, featuring art work from Black, Asian and ethnically diverse artists sharing their vision of the future. The exhibition is curated by Amy Zamarripa Solis and will feature artists Kemi Oloyede, SD Chatterjee, Edi Mandala, Vincent Oyenga, Sonji Art and Martins Deep. 

These future-facing art works offer electric eye-popping renditions of Afro-futurist identities, dreamy galaxies, earthly utopias, and a youthful hope for the future, but also reminders of the continuing racial struggles and battles experienced in the UK and globally, both inwards and outwards, all manifestations of systemic racism.

The art works were originally selected for Writing Our Legacy’s first edition of Covert literary magazine for Black, Asian and ethnically diverse writers and artists of colour, published in December 2020 in association with New Writing South.

The breathTAKING exhibition is funded in part by Phoenix Art Space and the Centre for Arts and Wellbeing at University of Brighton. The Covert exhibition is in partnership with This Too Is Real, Writing Our Legacy and Plus X Innovation Hub.

  • OXYGEN series @ Brighton Fringe: breathTAKING exhibition at Phoenix Art Space, 10-14 Waterloo Pl, Brighton BN2 9NB from June 16 to July 25.
  • Covert exhibition, at Jubilee Library, Jubilee St, Brighton BN1 1GE from May 21 to June 4 and Plus X Innovation Hub, Lewes Rd, Brighton BN2 4GL from May 28 to July 25.

For more info, CLICK HERE