Arena for Contemporary African, African-American and Caribbean Art

Author: Christabel Johanson

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Kwesi Botchway

Kwesi Botchway, Bald Head King, 2020. Acrylic on canvas. 31 x 31 in.Courtesy of Gallery 1957

Botchway’s exhibition seeked to unify the mercurial nature of human traditions and politics around what it means to be black. Be it beauty, fashion, identity or skin tone Botchway’s message isn’t just static, it isn’t just a state of being, it is a state of becoming something more.

Christabel Johanson on the work of Kwesi Botchway
Bold Head King, 2020, Acrylic on canvas, 31 x 31 in. Courtesy of Gallery 1957, London Read more »

The Medium is the Message, exhibition in London


The Medium is the Message we can therefore say finds purpose in curating nuanced work. It contains work from a group of artists that explores shades of colour, blackness and identity. It seeks to “return to the raw constituents of painting, to find what can be said about black identity today, through medium alone.”

Christabel Johanson reviews the exhibition The Medium is The Message in London
Eniwaye Oluwaseyi. A Branch and Two, 2020. Oil and acrylic on canvas. 100 x 80 cm.

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Mental Health in Black Art

Redefining Mental Illness

Being able to express oneself without words is a powerful tool in making wellbeing accessible for those without the confidence to voice how they feel. Experiencing emotions vicariously through other’s work, whether they are your own emotions reflected or new ways to empathise with others, is a priceless gift. And in the economics of health, art is a valuable currency which has an international value.

Christabel Johanson on Mental Health in Black Art
Tsoku Maela, redifining mental illness

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Jennie Baptiste


Black art has always been around, like the Harlem Renaissance which came about in the 1920s. We have always existed within this creative space and will continue to do so.”

Jennie Baptiste in coversation with Christabel Johanson
Pinky, 2002

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Dareece Walker: Black Fathers Matter


Race, gender and art have been complex topics to pursue but artists like Walker find this a vital opportunity to express their message, celebrate black masculinity and protest the lack of “accurate representation of black males in media…”

Christabel Johanson in conversation with the American artist Dareece Walker
Black Fathers Matter, Series III

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