In the 1980s, 225 Seven Sisters Road was home to the Black-Art Gallery, one of only two UK galleries devoted to the work of black artists living in Britain. Opened in September 1983, the Black-Art Gallery was conceived not simply as an exhibition space for black artists working in Britain in various art forms, but as a physical environment in which the country’s black culture could flourish.
The gallery was run by OBAALA (Organisation for Black Arts Advancement and Leisure Activities) under the Directorship of Shakka Dedi, one of its founders along with Eve-I-Kadeena, and one of the authors of a widely published manifesto of Black Art.
Seminal in bringing diversity to the UK visual arts scene, the Black-Art Gallery had a wide creative remit, hosting exhibitions of paintings, drawings, sculpture, photography, crafts and installations, with the gallery also hosting poetry, live music, seminars and social gatherings.
From the outset the gallery attracted the support of a new generation of British-born black graduates such as Eddie Chambers, Keith Piper, Marlene Smith and Donald Rodney – the BLK Art Group – as well as more established artists like Taiwo Jegede and Gavin Jantjes.
Arts organisation Furtherfield, founded in 1996, works locally and internationally to explore issues around social change and technology.In 2012 Furtherfield began putting on regular exhibitions in the McKenzie Pavilion and the following year launched hands-on workshops, artist residencies and gatherings in the Furtherfield Commons building, near Finsbury Gate.
The People's Park: augmented reality
As part of the exhibition we have created an augmented reality trail which you can access by using your smartphone to scan the QR code on the boards in the park. This allows you to explore a host of questions and images linked to the themes and stories on the nearby boards.
The flag below symbolises the park's long association with Afrikan and Black British culture.