Art curator Tanaka Saburi has orchestrated a street exhibition of work by 12 creatives primarily from Afro-Caribbean backgrounds. The campaign was designed by Nina Kunzendorf, and is currently on show across billboards in 11 locations around London, which were donated by outdoor ad specialists Build.
Titled Undivided Divinity, the project falls under the banner of The Molasses Gallery, a newly formed open-air art initiative based in London. While molasses has historic links to sugar plantations and the slave trade, Saburi says he chose the name as a positive metaphor for the work in the exhibition: a by-product of Black creativity in the face of adversity.
Featured in the inaugural campaign are works by photographers Ronan McKenzie and Sharmaarke Ali Adan, illustrators Joy Yamusangie and Olivia Twist, Leah Abraham and King Owusu (who are both models and artists), designer Ashton Attzs, and artists TJ Agbo, Alfie Kungu, Chinaza Agbor, Hamed Maiye, and Hilda Kortei.
While the work is all vastly different, Saburi chose the artists based on “their use of vibrant use of colour that uniquely conveys their own experiences within the sprawl,” he tells CR.
The project was devised as a way of “educating the public with knowledge of often pigeonholed artists within our own city of London”, and coincides with renewed discussion around the role and recognition of Black artists in the creative industries. At the heart of this initiative is “promoting Black solidarity and unity” and ensuring that Black artists are seen, Saburi says.
The initial campaign will run until September, and he is organising further projects set to launch later in the year, including an outdoor public gallery and an open-air film festival focusing on local Black directors and filmmakers.