Blk Art Group Symposium 2012

Wednesday 22 February 2012 12:00pm - 8:00pm
Free, but booking essential
How to book
Book in advance on 0114 278 2655 or email
Graves Gallery
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Coinciding with the exhibition The Blk Art Group at the Graves Gallery, the Blk Art Group Symposium 2012 brings together artists and curators associated with the group in order to reappraise the cultural and artistic legacy of their work from the early 1980’s and explore its relevance for 2012.
Jason Bowman, Sonia Boyce, Lubaina Himid, Claudette Johnson, Keith Piper, Marlene Smith, Mike Tooby.

Who should attend?
Artists; cultural historians and activists; students; museums, arts, culture and heritage professionals; academics; independent learners; community leaders; young cultural leaders.

What will I gain from attending?
We hope attendees will leave with:
- Knowledge of the story of the formation and life of the Blk Art Group from those who were part of it.
- Understanding of the artistic, political, social and cultural contexts of the 1980s within which the Blk Art Group operated.
- Inspiration and motivation to apply the debates to practice in 2012.

The Blk Art Group were art students who between 1981 and 1984 made what they named “radical black art”, organised exhibitions of that work and gathered other students and artists to discuss its form, function and future. The group’s line up and even its name changedover time but several members: Eddie Chambers, Claudette Johnson, Keith Piper, Donald Rodney and Marlene Smith played a consistentand influential role in its birth and evolution.The Blk Art Group are referenced today as a key contributor to what has come to be known as “the black arts movement” of 1980s Britain.Their work raised the profile of black artists, who up until then had received little attention. In their wake the art establishment had to ask itself whether it was excluding black artists and audiences and whether it had been doing so for some years. A series of high profile exhibitions of black artists work would follow.

For a full programme, please email
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