Exhibition: Get Up, Stand Up Now

E5CA9C43-D09B-4417-A900-30731D9E6B46
Multigraph 023 (Larry Achiampong) by Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard
IMG_0515
Exhibition Entrance via West Wing of Somerset House
IMG_0517
Colourful corridor
IMG_0518
Floor detail of corridor
IMG_0519
‘Whenever I Hang’ – Poem by Grace Nichols
IMG_0520
Exhibition visitor looking at a glass cabinet display of artefacts collected over the years by Zak Ové’s father, Horace Ové
IMG_0525
‘Icepick, 2002’ by Satch Hoyt with audio of hair being combed by wooden, plastic and metal Afro picks
IMG_0531
Listen boxes were dotted around the space with various music spanning 50 years. This one was playing ‘Empire Road (1978)’ by Matumbi
IMG_0534
‘James Baldwin, 1983’ by Horace Ové
IMG_0537
‘Warm Broad Glow, 2005’ by Glenn Ligon
IMG_0546
‘Hair Relaxer, 2007-2008’ by David Hammons
IMG_0547
Warning sign at the entrance to one of the rooms.
IMG_0552
‘The Enigma of Arrival in 4 Sections. Section 1: Guess Who is Coming to Dinner, 2017’ by Cosmo Whyte
IMG_0554
Detail of ‘The Enigma of Arrival in 4 Sections. Section 1: Guess Who is Coming to Dinner, 2017’ by Cosmo Whyte
IMG_0560
‘Shrine to Wisdom, 2019’ by Victor Ekpuk
IMG_0562
Detail of ‘Shrine to Wisdom, 2019’ by Victor Ekpuk
IMG_0563
Metal sculpture in the space – ‘Shrine to Wisdom, 2019’ by Victor Ekpuk
IMG_0564
Detail of ‘Shrine to Wisdom, 2019’ by Victor Ekpuk
IMG_0565
Detail of ‘Shrine to Wisdom, 2019’ by Victor Ekpuk
IMG_0569
Grace Wales Bonner’s friends Dennis Okwera and Wilson Oryema photographed by Lord Snowdon in her second collection Malik
IMG_1443
‘Woke, 2016’ by Sanford Biggers
IMG_1478
‘Michelle Barnase – Soul II Soul Jacket, 1989 and Jazzie’s Groove Cane, 1990’ by Jazzie B
IMG_1454
‘A Great Day in Hip-Hop, Harlem, New York, 1998’ by Gordon Parks
IMG_1483
‘The Barber’s Chair and Clippers, 2017’ by Faisal Abdu’allah
IMG_0578
‘Umbilical Progenitor, 2018’ by Zak Ové
IMG_0586
Detail of ‘Umbilical Progenitor, 2018’ by Zak Ové
IMG_0585
Do not touch the artwork – detail of ‘Umbilical Progenitor, 2018’ by Zak Ové
IMG_0589
T-shirt on sale at the exhibition store – this one made me chuckle.

I almost didn’t go to this exhibition. I had a pretty intense migraine for a few days and the last thing I needed was a ton of information being introduced to my already hurting head. If it wasn’t for my friends insisting, I would have easily stayed at home regretting my decision.

So, I gave myself a pep talk that morning and made my way to Somerset House where it was being held. I took a ten-minute stroll from Holborn Station convincing myself that I needed the fresh air and it was worth it. As I approached Somerset House from The Strand, on the facade was Multigraph 023 of artist Larry Achiampong that was shot by fellow artist and filmmakers Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard. Seeing this I knew I was in for a treat. Ok, truth be told, I didn’t know what to expect.

Side note: I loved what Larry said when he showed his mum his portrait on the facade of Somerset House.

“Waited a while to show mum this image (shot by @iainandjane 🙏🏿) which is at the front of @somersethouse via Strand.
We cried
We talked about the cleaning jobs we did in the area years ago
We hugged
Mum talked about legacy, about the importance of (the kids and others) seeing black faces in this way….. about coming to this country with nothing, but now feeling like she’d gained something”

The skies were grey and the fountains at the courtyard were on. It was hard not to miss the entrance to the exhibition which was colourful against the grey exterior of the building. As soon as I made my way in, I purchased my ticket and had it scanned. The lady at the entrance handed it back to me and said start from the left side of the space and immediately I was hit by a very colourful corridor that made me stop in my tracks. Very Instagrammable and memorable. I could tell that the exhibition curator Zak Ové wanted the visitors to be left with a lasting impression from the get-go. How could you miss all that colour and pomp?

From poetry, photographs, sculptures, fabrics, music, video, film, etc., anything you can think of that can be exhibited in an art exhibition was there. Zak Ové did an amazing job curating this show. A glimpse on Black creativity spanning over 50 years. I have just a few shared photographs I managed to take whilst in the space and they don’t do the experience justice.

Also, I honestly thought the exhibition would be in the whole of Somerset House, but it was only on the West Wing of the building. I was low-key disappointed, but all that disappointment faded as there was plenty to see. Everywhere you looked you were drawn to what was being displayed. The experience was definitely multi-sensory. From the floors to the windows, even the skirting boards were carefully curated and thought out to bring the colourful nature of black art and creativity. The whole space was just a sculpture on its own. I loved it.

The poem ‘Wherever They Hang’ by Grace Nichols and ‘Before’ by Selena Nwulu are my favourites. This coming from a person who hardly reads poetry. As an immigrant, they just resonated with me.

Despite my migraine, I experienced Get Out, Stand Up Now for hours that I didn’t even notice the time pass by. I am glad that I did see it before it ended and that I bought the catalogue from the show.

If you are reading this before the 15th of September and are in London, please go and see it. I highly recommend it.
Tickets are £12.50 for adults / £9.50 concessions. Children under 12 go free.

The exhibition has ended now!

#GetUpStandUpNow

 

Personal: BA 2119 | Flight of the Future Exhibition

IMG_1355IMG_1332IMG_1336IMG_1342IMG_1343IMG_1360IMG_1362IMG_1369

Disclaimer: This post BA 2119: The Flight of the Future Exhibition first appeared on Bankelele as I was asked to write a guest post in return for visiting the exhibition.

I was fortunate enough to be invited/gifted a ticket to an interactive exhibition by British Airways in collaboration with students from the Royal College of Art (RCA) at the Saatchi Gallery as they showcased the future of flying in the next 100 years.

This year, British Airways is celebrating its 100th Anniversary as being part of a predecessor company AT&T (Air Transport & Travel Ltd) and this exhibition is a celebration of that long history by looking at aviation through history via FLY, an interactive, multisensory, virtual reality experience that turns you into a time traveller from being a bird, into Leonardo Da Vinci’s studio in Florence all the way to 100 years into the future to what aviation might look like with an aircraft that is guided to land by sight as one of the possibilities of air travel.

Together with FLY, eight other concepts were showcased at the exhibition. These included:

  • AVII (AVY), which I particularly liked as a concept to improve the experience of travellers using Artifical Intelligence (AI) in collaboration with cabin crew. The idea is to submit your needs as you book your flight, for example, if you have particular dietary needs and this information is fed back to the cabin crew who in return provide personalised service throughout your flight without even you asking.
  • Another concept, TASTENATION, uses data collected from DNA and body health to 3D print food for a new multi-sensory in-flight dining experience. This idea does away with food waste as meals are prepared from scratch onto edible cutlery and plates. Yet at the same time provide the necessary nutrients whilst on the air as it prepares the body to adjust to the cuisine of the traveller’s destination.
  • In line with reducing waste, THE FUTURE OF LUGGAGE is another concept that can also be realised. The vision where travellers would travel without any luggage as they will have to upload their clothes onto a digital wardrobe together with their measurements and depending on the weather, duration of their stay, etc. and the idea that you would arrive at your destination and find a set of clothes waiting for you at the airport lounge at your destination is pretty awesome. Clothes will be made from recycled materials that at the end of your trip, you drop them off at the airport where they are recycled.

There was so much to detailing to see at this exhibition from personalised wearable seats called AIRWEAR, to flying green with AERIUM, where the air we breathe and the water that we drink whilst flying is generated through bioavionics systems integrated as part of the plane. CURIO, a hypersonic modular aircraft with zero emissions and weird seating is one I did not get. And so did AER, a shape-changing smart luggage transportation concept.

Of the concepts, I saw at the exhibition, AVII(AVY), AERIUM, TASTENATION and THE FUTURE OF LUGGAGE looked like the ones that are likely to happen in the near future leading up to 2119 with the other concepts looking very unlikely, but I could be wrong and years beyond 2119, these other concepts could be a reality for many.

All in all, it was amazing to see how history and the advancement of technology inform us of the ideas and innovations of what is yet to come.

#FlightoftheFuture

 

Project: What Happened to the Rest of the Map?

What Happened to the Rest of the Map? (2019) – Part of the ‘Remnants’ series

I was travelling back home with my kids on the Central Line and when I looked up, I saw that a huge chunk of the line map was missing. Someone went out of their way to rip out a whole map and cut/left out these fours stations. It makes you ask loads of questions. Why did they do this? Is this some kind of vandalism? Why did they leave these four stations? And why only four stations? Why not one, two or just the whole map minus these four stations?

Like I said, loads of questions.

Then again, it made me think perhaps this person just wanted people to look at it and smile. I certainly did and that is why I took the photo. I showed it to my kids and they were equally amused. And if that was their goal, well, they succeeded.

I hope by sharing this photo I too have made you smile. My shameless attempt of paying it forward through someone else’s attempt of making the world a much happier place.

#RemnantsProject

Snapping London: Hybrid Elephant

_MG_2483Hybrid Elephant (2013)

Back in 2013, a friend convinced me that we should venture the streets of London first thing Sunday morning.

Sunday mornings are for sleeping in, but not on this day.

We traipsed the streets of Shoreditch on our mini photo walk taking pictures of the tranquil streets before the Sunday crowds came out to shop, eat and chill.

I managed to photograph the graffiti Shoreditch is known for and this one by Puerto Rican artist Alexis Diaz was easily one of my favourites.

There are more, but I will share them in future blog posts.

Anyway, let’s just say after that day, I haven’t done another early morning photo walk and honestly, I wouldn’t mind doing it again. It was fun.

If in London, would you prefer an early morning photo walk or a night crawl?

#SnappingLondon

Press: Virgin Money London Marathon 2019

Event: London Marathon 2019
Venue: City of London
Date: 24th & 25th April (Press Days), 28th April (Race Day) & 29th April (Winners Day)

Photo highlights from this year’s Virgin Money London Marathon. I would normally do one or two days during the week aka Press Days, then cover the actual Race Day which is on Sundays and then the Winners Press Day is on Monday.

Press Days – Elite Men, Women and British

Virgin Money London Marathon Press Day. London, UK.Virgin Money London Marathon Press Day. London, UK.Virgin Money London Marathon Press Day. London, UK.Virgin Money London Marathon Press Day. London, UK.Virgin Money London Marathon Press Day. London, UK.Virgin Money London Marathon Press Day. London, UK.Virgin Money London Marathon Press Day. London, UK.Virgin Money London Marathon Press Day. London, UK.Virgin Money London Marathon Press Day. London, UK.

Race Day

On Race Day this year, I started off at Embankment with the Coca Cola London Eye as my backdrop for some of my shots. I then moved on to the finish line where I could capture some of the runners as they finished their race.

Virgin Money London Marathon Race Day. London, UK.Virgin Money London Marathon Race Day. London, UK.Virgin Money London Marathon Race Day. London, UK.Virgin Money London Marathon Race Day. London, UK.Virgin Money London Marathon Race Day. London, UK.Virgin Money London Marathon Race Day. London, UK.Virgin Money London Marathon Race Day. London, UK.

This year a friend was running the marathon and I managed to capture her as she crossed the finish line. It was not an easy task seeing how many people were finishing at the same time, but the London Marathon App really helped as I was tracking her race.

Virgin Money London Marathon Race Day. London, UK.Virgin Money London Marathon Race Day. London, UK.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Winners Press Day

Virgin Money London Marathon Winners Press Day. London, UK.Virgin Money London Marathon Winners Press Day. London, UK.Virgin Money London Marathon Winners Press Day. London, UK.Virgin Money London Marathon Winners Press Day. London, UK.

I am always in awe of all the runners and inspired by them just taking part, be it as an elite runner, for charity or just themselves, that I actually entered myself for the London Marathon 2020 ballot.

Eeeekkk!

I don’t know if I am successful or not until October 2019. Wish me luck!

Have you run a marathon? If so, care to share training/running tips.

#VMLM2019