Opening soon / Closing soon: London Exhibitions for you to visit (ASAP!)
From an interactive game about Black Trans life to a multimedia exhibition about Caribbean gardening cultures. London is never short of incredible exhibitions, galleries and museums to visit. Across all mediums, art serves as a tool for storytelling, community and crucially, liberation. We feature some exhibitions archiving and showcasing the rich cultures we witness across all communities and marginalised groups in this list. But be quick! Some of these shows will be ending soon, so make sure to get down to these galleries before then!
SHE KEEPS ME DAMN ALIVE, by Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley
Location: 7 Botanic Sq, Leamouth Peninsula, London E14 0LG
Dates: 19 November – 5 March 2022
SHE KEEPS ME DAMN ALIVE, explores and archives the Black Trans experience through the use of storytelling and interactivity. The exhibition uses the artist’s recent series of DOTCOM works: blacktransarchive.com, blacktransair.com and blacktranssea.com. SHE KEEPS ME DAMN ALIVE is described as a “PRO BLACK AND PRO TRANS game which means your actions demand close examination and determine how the world of each level treats you”. Throughout her work, Braithwaithe-Shirley uses technology to reimagine and archive Black Trans lives, past, present and future.
Threads of Past and Present, by Eric Adjei Tawiah
Location: 1 Hyde Park Gate, South Kensington, London SW7 5DW
Dates: 28 JAN – 5 MAR 2022
As Eric Adjei Tawiah’s first solo exhibition at Gallery 1957, Threads of Past and Present celebrates the joys of friendship, family and human kinship in both life and death. The exhibition features 17 news works, with several of these paintings capturing two of Tawiah’s fellow practising artists in Ghana. The exhibition uses floral motifs throughout, to which the artist explains, “these are flowers that I saw when my mother’s body was being put into her grave”. The exhibition seeks to commemorate those no longer with us whilst celebrating the joy of living and the human experience. Adjei Tawiah, inspired by his community in Accram uses his artistic voice to represent the light and healing that follows darker times in life.
Sowing Roots: Caribbean Garden Heritage in South London, by Dr Ekua McMorris and Dr Elizabeth Cooper
Location: Lambeth Palace Road, London, SE1 7LB
Dates: 15 Nov 2021 – 6 Mar 2022
This exhibition follows the journey of horticultural traditions that Caribbean people brought when they moved to the UK after World War II. Sowing Roots explores how the gardening cultures of the Windrush generation shaped their migration experiences in the UK. Researchers Dr Ekua McMorris and Dr Elizabeth Cooper work alongside oral historian Jen Kavanagh to archive the stories of South London horticulturists and how these stories can shape our understanding of the power in gardening and growing knowledge.
Testimonies on the History of Jamaica, by Zakiya McKenzie
Location: Studio Voltaire, 1A Nelsons Row, London, SW4 7JR
Dates: 28 January 2022—13 March 2022
Following their residence at Studio Voltaire, McKenzie explores the environment of Jamaica during British colonialism. In the exhibition, the artist creates first-person stories of how those living in the colony would respond to the environmental degradation, beginning in the 17th century. These stories are told through the characters from the Court of Caribbean Reconciliation and played by the Jamaican-based Equiknoxx Music collective.. Zakiya is a PhD candidate researching Black British journalism in the post-war period. Mckenzie’s book “Testimonies on the History of Jamaica Volume 1” is available from Rough Trade Books.
Featurism: An Ode to my African Face, by Sarah Owusu
Location: Copeland Gallery, Unit 9I, Copeland Park, 133 Copeland Rd, London SE15 3SN
Dates:8th March – 14 March 2022.
Self-taught contemporary Ghanaian-British artist announces her first solo exhibition, “Featurism: An Ode to my African Face” at the Copeland Gallery. Her vibrant and abstract portrait style highlights and reclaims Africa’s rich cultural history. On her Instagram announcement of the exhibition, Sarah quotes Malcolm X: “Who taught you to hate the colour of your skin? Who taught you to hate the texture of your hair? Who taught you to hate the shape of your nose and your lips? Who taught you to hate yourself from the top of your head to the soles of your feet?”.
Bring Me to Heal, by Amartey Golding
Location: 198 Railton Rd, London SE24 0JT
Dates: 17 March – 1 May 2022
Amartey Golding’s Bring Me to Heal reaches London on its journey across the country on 17 March. Inspired by Golding’s Anglo-Scottish and Ghanaian ancestry, the exhibition follows the liminal space between trauma and healing. Golding refers to the vital restorative culture of Rastafarians and locates this as a means to dealing with generational trauma – a radical disjuncture from the white British experience. Bring Me to Heal calls visitors to look inwards and into the past to consolidate a more liberatory future.
Decriminalised Futures, by Tobi Adebajo, Khaleb Brooks, Chi Chi Castillo and May May Peltier, Cory Cocktail, Hanecdote, Liad Hussein Kantorowicz, Letizia Miro and Yarli Allison, Aisha Mirza, Annie Mok, pxr•mxt•r, and Danica Anna Uskert-Quinn
Location: The Mall, St. James’s, London SW1Y 5AH
Dates: 16 February – 22 May 2022
Decriminalised Futures celebrates the ever-growing and mobilised sex worker movement. Highlighting the work that sex workers and their allies have done to obtain robust worker’s rights, an end to criminalisation and genuine action to address poverty amongst sex workers, this group exhibition brings together thirteen international artists and their work. The exhibition archives the history of the sex worker rights movement and its inalienable links to other social justice and liberation movements.