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Brighton CCA

A new centre for
contemporary arts at the
University of Brighton

Exhibition

Mound, Elise Guillaume

Still from Hidden Heritages, Wendy Owusu

Omang II, Work in Progress, Melanie Woodward

Case Study Two - Lusaka, Lusaka Province - Urban Plot, Vanessa Malao Nkumbula

Caught, Debbie Lampon

Untitled, watercolour on paper, Takudzwa Chandiwana, 2021

Produced by Pacheanne Anderson
Curated by Gem Allison and Rachel O-Williams

Framed within RESOLVE Collective’s leisure/work installation and inspired by Brighton’s growing DIY arts scene, ‘Reclaiming Space’ seeks to share stories of the physical and intangible ways space can be reclaimed from the diverse perspectives of under-represented artists. This exhibition features the work of both emerging artists, University of Brighton students and Alumni all who skilfully build upon themes of race, class and gender and in relation to their varied experiences of spaces.

A dominant theme is the embracing of non-white and working class heritage through physically manipulating everyday forms such as takeaway containers to official indicators of identity such as Botswana government identity documents and maps of urban farming in Zambia. From the Baoule women’s hairstyling as a hidden channel of communication, deconstructed portraits exploring Black femininity within white spaces to cityscapes of racial and LGBTQ+ persecution in the USA, these conceptual artworks explore how individuals establish a sense of place in relation to their personal histories, identity and urban geography.

The exhibition includes a range of mediums from photography, poetry, sculpture to film and will be presented alongside a curated programme by artist and Alumni Rachel O-Williams and will consist of participatory talks with emerging and established creatives across art and music. Reclaiming spaces, voices and sharing space through workshops and film screenings is crucial to the practical act of reclaiming black creative space.

Participating Artists:
Vanessa Malao Nkumbula
Wendy Owusu
Takudzwa Chandiwana
Jacob Talkowski
Debbie Lampon
Melanie Woodward

We encourage visitors to take ownership of the exhibition itself as a reclaimed space to engage, learn and reflect upon ways space can and is reclaimed through participatory elements including a sensory space and grassroots zines library and curated reading corner.
           
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Artist Bios:

Takudzwa Chandiwana is currently based in the West Midlands and works with stitch, print, paint and charcoal. Using a mixture of intuitive and technical process she explores the black identity and black femininity within a western context. As well as visual representations of cultural identity and ideas of diaspora as space within art. Takudzwa completed a BA and MA in Fine Art at Birmingham City University. She’s exhibited with The Exchange and Newlyn Art gallery, QUAD Gallery, Derby, the RBSA Art Gallery, and has been awarded the Whitworth Wallis Fellowship.

Debbie Lampon is an MA Fine Art student who trained as an analytic psychotherapist working with printmaking, drawing and painting. Her work is contemporary and humorous, informed by themes of working class life, the mundane and beauty of ordinary working lives and themes of urban struggle and renewal. She enjoys working with styles from animation to expressionism and the use of symbolic and unconscious elements. Her works have been exhibited in the Fen Ditton Contemporary Printmaking Prize (UK) and Kitchen Print Biennale (France) and the Festival of Print in London 2021.

Vanessa Malao Nkumbula is a strong advocate for decolonisation, particularly in education, after going through an undergraduate programme in her home country, Zambia that focused more on European Architecture. She has particular interest in critiquing and re-theorising language and its use in relation to post-colonial contexts to align them with decolonial discourse. Vanessa’s work is strongly influenced by her desire for an alternative practice that fosters a conscious reclamation of space, action, and expression that is informed by the Zambian and African experience. She is currently practicing with focus on listed buildings and conservation with the intention of recontextualising and exploring how Zambian Architecture can be reclaimed and conserved.

Wendy Owusu (b. 1994) lives and works between France and The Netherlands. She recently completed her Bachelor degree at the Design Academy in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. With a multidisciplinary practice that works across video, textile, publishing and installation, she focuses on social construct, heritage and transmission.

Jacob Talkowski recently graduated from the Royal College of Art with a MA in Sculpture, and received his BA(Hons) in Sculpture in 2018. Throughout he has worked to develop a teaching practice – tutoring foundation students in Norfolk, and working with multiple universities to tutor undergraduates in the greater London area. In October he displayed public work in Battersea Park in a project to rethink the space occupied by the Hepworth sculpture. He has also produced limited editions for House of Voltaire. Talkowski has also taken part in various panels and events as a speaker, including for the WorkingClassCreativesDatabase (of which he is a member), a-n The Artists Information Company, and British Art Network. He has exhibited across the UK, producing site sensitive works for venues such as House of Vans London. 

Melanie Woodward is a multidisciplinary artist in the third year studying Fine Art. Woodward’s practice focuses on identity, personal archiving, and memory. Recent exhibitions include the Fine Art group exhibition Unearthed (2022) and Omang and Omang II were also exhibited in Towards the Light (Artists Open Houses, 2022).

Curator Bios:

Pacheanne Anderson (he/they) is an art consultant and art writer collaborating with art galleries & institutions, organisations and publications that support the development and promotion of low-income, queer, Black and PoC British artists. Pacheanne Anderson Gallery & Advisory offers a channel of access between the non-profit and commercial art sector through providing opportunities to artists directly, through exhibitions, residencies, sales and commissions.

Gem Allison is an MA student studying Curating collections and heritage with a specific interest in lgbtq+ intergenerational connection in her research. As a working class creative, she is passionate about removing barriers of access to the arts and works as an engagement assistant at Fabrica gallery and delivers arts workshops across diy venues in Brighton including the Queery, the Ledward centre and The Feminist bookshop. Through her own artwork she aims to create a sense of community through creating and raises money for local grassroots orgs.

Rachel O-Williams is a British-Nigerian multidisciplinary artist. Her work explores the connection between her past and present –  incorporating her physical surroundings within the context of social and political disintegration from her personal perspective. Sometimes questioning or exploring the complicated interconnection between peoples life in society with race, gender, sexuality and culture her work is political – not always with the intent to be – it is the creation of a double consciousness.

Summer House is supported by Art Fund.

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