Review: ‘I, The Angry Black Woman’ & Other Stories Exhibition

‘The work on show ranged in style and medium from photography, paintings and digital art. The exhibition succeeds in deconstructing this negative stereotype in presenting a more nuanced approach of what it means to be a Black woman based in individuality, multiple identities and above all humanity. My eyes were immediately drawn to Paris Walkers’ bright and bold graphic prints. At only 22 years old she was the youngest artist and I was in awe of her talent. Her images undeniably capture the beauty of the Black woman whilst drawing on the emotion that this ‘angry’ label provokes. Her use of bold colours and striking lines undermines the concept anger linking to negativity. Originally from the Dominican Republic and now living in London, Ruth Aquino explained that, for her, art was a cathartic process based in healing. I felt that the images of her mum and sister celebrate the innate beauty of the Black woman in its purest nude form. Finally, Ejatu Shaw, who unfortunately wasn’t at the event in person, presented two sets of works. The first focused on photos of the victims of the mudslide disaster that happened last August in Sierra Leone and the second entitled Poly- draws on the artist’s struggle to conflate her multiple identities focusing on the strength found in polymers.

‘On a personal level, I found it inspiring to be in the same room as so many talented individuals. The final message I took from the exhibition was one of triumph and the power found in the collective. The art succeeds in delegitimizing the idea of black sameness and allows Black women to reclaim the narrative of the Other. I, The Angry Black Woman looks past this negative trope and focuses on the power we can gain from being angry. Yes, Black women get angry, just like everyone else, but it is what we do with that anger that defines us and makes us brilliant.’

 

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Image by Ejatu Shaw, from ‘Poly-‘ Series

 

 

Read more on the Reach Your Zenith blog here: www.reachyourzenith.wordpress.com/2017/11/15/i-the-angry-black-woman-other-stories

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Siana Bangura

I'm Siana. And the world is my oyster.