Nov 27, 2020
While the world navigates our way around what is the new normal in this world of social distancing, restricted travel, and lockdowns, it has also encountered the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement. Revoluton has witnessed first-hand the mental impact, feeling of exhaustion and possible frustration that many are experiencing. Equally the force of community, solidarity and raised awareness of social justice cannot be ignored.
Revoluton Arts announced today that Luton artists Sophie Gresswell and ENNÉ have been awarded their commission to explore their experience relating to Black Lives Matter. Each artist will be awarded £1,000.
Sophie’s commission will see her create studies in a mixture of poetry/spoken word, short animations and painting, exploring hidden histories and extremely personal revelations. This work is motivated by exploring the question ‘Where are you from?’ and her difficulties in answering that question as a person of mixed heritage, as well as her discovery that St Helena, the isolated little island where her grandfather was born, is also the home to a mass unmarked burial site of approximately 8,000 ‘Liberated African slaves’.
Sophie and ENNÉ will each hold online salons exploring themes around their commissions with guest speakers. Sophie’s will be held on 17 December 2020 with the date for ENNÉ’s salon tbc.
For her commission, ENNÈ will create three large canvases combining abstract work and photography, capturing the generations’ experience of what it means to Black and British. As well as taking photographic portraits of family members, family friends and other members of her community, ENNÈ will record interviews with these people and use their stories to influence her work. ENNÈ will use the funding to develop her artistic practice, accessing mentoring from a San Francisco-based artist to explore innovative ways to transfer photographic images to canvas.
Sophie and ENNÉ will also contribute to Luton’s Black Lives Matter conference which takes place in January 2021.
Johanne Hudson-Lett, a producer for Revoluton Arts said, ‘It is our intention to keep the Black Lives Matter conversation going because it is through the telling of stories that we can find shared understanding and compassion. Our two commissioned artists ENNÉ and Sophie are not afraid to put themselves in emotional and uncomfortable environments in order to explore and uncover the challenges that Black communities face.'
Read more about Revoluton’s Black Lives Matter commission here