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Black Art: Plotting the Course

Group show at The Bluecoat Gallery, Wolverhampton Art Gallery, Oldham Art Gallery. 1988
Date: 22 October, 1988 until 3 December, 1988
Curator: Eddie Chambers
Organiser: Eddie Chambers, Oldham Art Gallery, Bluecoat Gallery, Wolverhampton Art Gallery

Black Art: Plotting the Course was a touring exhibition held at Oldham Art Gallery, October 22 - December 3, 1988, Wolverhampton Art Gallery, December 10 1988 - January 31, 1989 and the Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool, February 25 - April 1 1989. Selected by Eddie Chambers and organised in collaboration with the three venues, the exhibition featured the work of 27 artists from African, Asian and Caribbean backgrounds, all living in the UK. 

This was an exhibition of works by Black artists, who were invited to submit work in a variety of media that explored their feelings and thoughts about the Black artist’s position within the social structure and culture of Britain, and about the effects of racism. Black Art: Plotting the Course included works by more established artists, such as John Lyons (born in 1933) and Errol Lloyd (born in 1943), as well as art students and younger practitioners. The works exhibited included paintings, sculpture and multi-media pieces. The images selected sought to offer a distinct view of the range of work being produced by Black artists in Britain in the late 1980s.

From the Preface: “This exhibition, for which this catalogue has been published, was curated by Eddie Chambers, in collaboration with the three originating venues, Oldham Art Gallery, Wolverhampton Art Gallery and the Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool. Each gallery has jointly supported the exhibition in terms of both finance and organisation; the venture has also been funded by the Arts Council of Great Britain under its Special Arts Projects scheme. 

It was selected in two parts; an open entry section - for which any artist of African or Asian origin was eligible; and an invited section. Forty-three artists applied and nine were invited: From this group of fifty-two, thirty-six were visited in their studios and twenty-seven were finally selected. A substantial number of these artists live outside of London, and many are students or recent graduates.

A 32 page catalogue accompanied the exhibition.

A summary of Black Art: Plotting the Course appeared in the Companion to Contemporary Black British Culture edited by Alison Donnell (Routledfge, 2002). Written by Pauline de Souza, the summary appeared on page 37

Related items

click to show details of Black Art: Plotting the Course catalogue

»  Black Art: Plotting the Course catalogue

Catalogue relating to an exhibition, 1988

People in this exhibition + view all 28

»  Alistair Raphael

Born, 1966 in Dartford, England

»  Lesley Sanderson

Born, 1962 in Malaysia

»  Mark Sealy MBE

Born, 1960 in England

»  Gurminder Sikand

Born, 1960 in Jamshedpur, India

»  Shanti Thomas

Born, 1949 in London

Exhibition venues

»  The Bluecoat Gallery

Liverpool, United Kingdom

»  Oldham Art Gallery

Oldham, United Kingdom

»  Wolverhampton Art Gallery

Wolverhampton, United Kingdom