3 June to 15 July 2023
Exhibition Launch: Digbeth First Friday 2 June, 6–8pm
Everyone is welcome!
You are invited into the GOD-POCKET, an Afrospeculative ‘firmament’ situated between time and space. It is a crossroads between the seen past and unseen future; a pocket universe where Otherness learns to become morphological.
Identity is an ongoing topic in Black British discourse, with themes of displacement and belonging fuelling concerns around self-actualisation.
Tangible routes to identification can be hindered due to ideals of the ‘individual’ and fractures in cultural and local communities. If personhood is more a relational process than an inherent quality, then obscured connections to the past could leave people unequipped and unsupported to tackle the present.
This isn’t new – or specific – to Black Brits. The state of being ‘other’ is palpable in displacement and is compounded by other factors like queerphobia, Islamophobia, classism, and notably ableism, where lacking access harms community inclusion. For many Black disabled people, the margins of society are a liminal space or heterotopia for them to be discarded into and forgotten.
Black Britain is a growing culture within the Black African Diaspora. But formative milestones are often usurped by bigotry and capitalism. These Afro-Diasporic musings have highlighted a need to create and hijack ‘liminal spaces’ within the public sphere for social practice. Otherness has morphological potential when freed from the policing societal gaze.
Tesha Murrain-Hernandez is a Jamaican-Montserratian wellness artist and meditation practitioner, interested in themes of community space, herbology, Blackness, Afro-Spiritualities, and somatic movement. Based in Birmingham UK, her background is in teaching, autism assessment, and managing challenging behaviours in learning spaces.
As a Black woman with a migraine disability, Tesha is interested in finding ways to make art more accessible to herself and her wider community, through community gathering, intuitive practices and experimentation, consulting, and collaboration. Tesha is also a member of creative support group BRMTWN, and is a UK Community Leader for Shades for Migraine.
Yusuf Dongo is a Nigerian multidisciplinary artist from Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State. He is passionate about using value systems as a framework for exploring waste and upcycling, as well as curbing his own environmental waste production within his practice. Most of his figurative sculptures are made from scrap metal. Yusuf uses his practice to relive historic moments, employing cultural proverbs and folklore to bring storytelling to his commentary. Yusuf hopes to use the motifs that stem from these frameworks to encourage discourse around value, and how its relative nature can be challenged.
Yusuf also incorporates sketching, painting, woodworking, and even textile art into his practice, ensuring his practice is flexible enough to explore a wide range of ideas and concepts. For him, the art of craftsmanship is its own reward.
Trixiebella Suen is a multidisciplinary artist who questions the differences between living and non-living objects. Her work preemptively collaborates with the viewer, absorbing them into the artwork as they interact with it, providing sensory avenues beyond sight.
Suen’s practice is understanding the impact her cultural identity plays in her artistic expressions of Taoism, identity, and her connection to the environmental world; alongside her practice focusing on the Philosophy of Object Oriented Ontology, Anthropology, and the Environment.
Neoliberalizard is an anonymous street artist based in Birmingham and Wolverhampton.
Jaz Morrison is a writer, artist, and curator employing the Afro-Speculative to explore histories, social space, and storytelling. She is currently interested in culture- and worldbuilding for the purpose of realising new futures. For Jaz, her practice is about sense-making and memory-making.
Jaz founded creative support group BRMTWN and is currently an Artist-Curator Trainee at Eastside Projects.