Celebrate the past 50 years of Black creativity in Britain and beyond, in this major exhibition spanning art, film, photography, music, literature, design and fashion.
Beginning with the radical Black filmmaker Horace Ové and his dynamic circle of Windrush generation creative peers, and extending to today’s brilliant young Black talent globally, a group of around 100 interdisciplinary artists showcase work together for the first time, exploring Black experience and influence, from the post-war era to the present day.
Whether established or emerging, all contributors have been specially selected for actively shaping cultural life in Britain and beyond. In this multi-sensory experience, historic works and new commissions sit alongside items from personal archives, much of which has never been seen by the public before, tracing more than half a century of collective history.
Numerous works have been created especially for the exhibition, championing the wealth of contemporary Black creative talent. Highlights include an original soundtrack by Trinidadian DJ, producer and member of Major Lazer, Jillionaire, which is streamed throughout the exhibition space. Participating Somerset House Studios residents, including artist Larry Achiampong, musician Gaika and film maker Jenn Nkiru (who worked on Jay Z’s and Beyoncé’s APESH*T), also present new pieces for the show.
Somerset House has been granted unprecedented access to the archives of key contributors to post-war Black culture, such as photographers Charlie Phillips, Armet Francis and Vanley Burke, and artist Aubrey Williams, a founding member of the Caribbean Artists Movement. With original photographs, letters, films and audio clips, the exhibition unearths the creative, the personal and the political in their lives, and charts the climate of their times. Much of this material has never previously been shared with the public.
Somerset House is offering a special 50% off entry to this exhibition for visitors with a National Art Pass.