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RCA Black

Catalogue relating to an exhibition, 2011
Year published: 2011
Number of pages: 80

image of RCA Black

The Royal College of Art’s Henry Moore Gallery was the venue for RCA Black, a week-long exhibition held 31 August - 6 September 2011. The exhibition featured contributions by a number of Black artists who had studied at the RCA over the course of several decades.

The Royal College of Art in collaboration with the African and African Caribbean Design Diaspora (AACDD), presented RCA Black, an exhibition that sought to celebrate the multiple art and design practices by African and African Caribbean graduates of the prestigious postgraduate college.

The premise of the exhibition was that the RCA has been instrumental in developing the careers of artists and designers of African and African Caribbean descent such as painter Frank Bowling RA and architect David Adjaye, as well as Caribbean artists such as Barrington Watson.

According to the preface to this RCA Black catalogue, “A Royal College of Art education undoubtedly brings with it the prospect of prestige and success, yet at the same time, the College – in common with other major British educational institutions – is seen as being a predominately white university.

With this in mind, RCA Black will for the very first time bring together the multidisciplinary practices of the College’s African and African Caribbean art and design alumni, past and present (sic). The achievements of these artists and designers – spanning 60 years – are being showcased not only as exemplars of creativity but also as a point of celebration.

Dr Paul Thompson, Rector of the Royal College of Art said: “African and African Caribbean artists and designers are faced with many barriers in their quest to obtaining academic qualifications; through this exhibition I hope that those considering applying to the College will have confidence that admission is based on merit and not on any other factor.”

According to Héloïse Parke, in her introduction, RCA Black: An Exhibition of Practitioners, “RCA Black exhibits the work of 22 artists and designers of African and African Caribbean descent who have graduated from the Royal College of Art since 1957.”

The curatorial team behind the exhibition were, Simone Brewster, Cordelia Cembrowicz, Ekua McMorris and Emamoke Ukeleghe, with Héloïse Parke acting as Consultant Curator.

The exhibition came with this catalogue, published in an edition of 300. 80 pages, A5 landscape, with monochrome reproductions and a colour cover.

Contents as follows:

Contents pages
RCA Black Preface
Introduction: RCA Black: An Exhibition of Practitioners, by Héloïse Parke
61 pages of brief biographical notes/artists’ statements/images of the 22 artists, craftspeople, designers, menswear designers, and sculptors represented in the exhibition.
Two pages of notes about the African & African Caribbean Design Diaspora - AACDD.
A Closing Word From the RCA Black Team, by Cordelia Cembrowicz
Participants’ Contacts - web sites and email addresses
Acknowledgements (over two pages)

Related people + view all 22

»  Faisal Abdu’Allah

Born, 1969 in London, UK

»  (Sir) Frank Bowling OBE, RA

Born, 1935 - 1937 (probably 1936) in British Guiana (now Guyana) Caribbean/S. America

»  Joy Gregory

Born, 1959 in Oxfordshire, England

»  Barrington Watson

Born, 1931 in Lucea, Jamaica. Died, 2016

Related exhibitions

Related venues

»  Royal College of Art Henry Moore Gallery

London, United Kingdom