pioneers

The shoulders we stand on. I have set myself a challenge. The starting point for these new works will be a selection of conversations and materials that are distinctly different from previous works. Up to now my subjects have been entirely my choice, people who have inspired me or who have been a significant part of my life. The method has been to work with the magazines and printed ephemera I have collected at my studio, mixed with my own conscious and sub conscious knowledge of the subject. The 'Pioneers' are different and I seek to create them differently. I start from a position of not knowing who they are. I only know that I am looking for Black British people whose lives and achievements have influenced my own in ways I may never know. I know that I want to depict people who can tell a story of the Black British experience. Who are these Black British pioneers whose names we barely hear of? Who are these people who are rarely, if ever, mentioned in our classrooms? Who are these people who meant so much to so many yet are known by so few? Why is their connection to Britain as Black people relevant to today? I will discover them through conversations and by entering archives and libraries. I aim to depict that discovery in the portraits. The method will be to use some of what I find in the archives.