Working across sculpture, photography and printmaking, Kedisha Coakley explores topical issues concerning Black women’s identity and representation.
Her work particularly challenges Western depictions of Black culture and explores connections to colonial histories. By creating an inclusive and recognisable space within a gallery setting, Coakley reconsiders objects and cultural symbols in relation to history, culture and race. A particular highlight in the exhibition is her exploration of the maintenance of African Caribbean hair – motifs and patterns of braided hair feature prominently in her bronze sculptures and bold mural wallpaper designs.
Using her own personal experiences as inspiration, the artist challenges stereotypes and asks the viewer to reconsider social and historical narratives intertwined in objects from different cultures. The exhibition will explore themes such as home, memory and status.
The exhibition at Yorkshire Sculpture Park is her first public gallery exhibition and will be accompanied by a new sculptural commission to be unveiled in the West Midlands later this year. Taking the form of a Mbulu Ngulu guardian – carved wooden figures of the Kota tribe of Gabon, Africa – the large-scale structure will be made of steel and rooted in African art.