Public Lecture Course: Black British Artists and Political Activism

This term's programme has been convened by Elizabeth Robles (University of Bristol) and will feature conversations with Ego Sowinski, Gavin Jantjes, Ingrid Pollard, Marlene Smith and Alice Correia.

Week 1 | Introduction

Black British Artists and Political Activism: Introduction

Elizabeth Robles

Week 2 | Abstraction and Anti-colonialism

Black British Artists and Political Activism: Abstraction and Anti-colonialism

Elizabeth Robles and Ego Sowinski

Week 3 |‘I’m in the black lesbian poster’

This lecture was not recorded

Week 4 |Artists Against Apartheid

Black British Artists and Political Activism: Artists Against Apartheid

Elizabeth Robles, Dr Allison K. Young and Gavin Jantjes

Week 5 |'Black Art' and Black Power

This lecture was cancelled

Week 6 |'She is not Bullet Proof'

Black British Artists and Political Activism: 'She is not Bullet Proof'

Alice Correia and Marlene Smith

Further reading and resources


Boyce, Sonia and Price, Dorothy (eds.). ‘Special Issue: Rethinking British Art: Black Artists and Modernism’. Art History, Volume 44, Issue 3 (June 2021): 456–675.

University of the Arts London. ‘Black Artists and Modernism.’ Accessed 4 November 2021.

Week 1

‘David Oluwale’s death in 1969 helped ‘reshape Leeds’. BBC News, 19 April 2019.

The Tetley Leeds. ‘Rasheed Araeen: For Oluwale at The Tetley’. 29 March 2019. Educational video, 3:54.

McQueen, Steve, director. Small Axe (anthology). Turbine Studios, EMU Films, BBC, Amazon Studio. 2020. Five episodes.

Week 2

Brett, Guy. ‘A Reputation Restored: The rediscovery of sculptor Ronald Moody’. Tate. Accessed 11 November 2021.

Lloyd, Errol. ‘Caribbean Artists Movement’. British Library, 4 Oct 2018.

The Equiano Centre. ‘Ronald Moody: Sculpture and interwar Britain’. Accessed 11 November 2021.

You can find a selection of the papers of Ronald Moody on the Tate website.

Week 3

Chand, Sonia. ‘Camden Lesbian Centre and Black Lesbian Group: Race and Sexuality’. Accessed 18 November 2021.

Glasgow Women’s Library. ‘Camden Lesbian Centre and Black Lesbian Group: Building the UK’s first lesbian centre. Accessed 18 November 2021.

M, Nadine. Ingrid Pollard Exhibition: No Cover Up – A Volunteer’s Reflection. Glasgow Women’s Library, 2 September 2021.

You can find a bibliography for further reading here on the Glasgow Women’s Library website.

Week 4

Jantjes, Gavin. ‘Art Pod: Gavin Jantjes’. November 2020. Cornwall: Newlyn Art Gallery.

Iniva. ‘Gavin Jantjes’. Accessed 25 November 2021.

Dibosa, David. ‘Gavin Jantjes's Korabra Series (1986): Reworking Museum Interpretation’. Art History, Volume 44, Issue 3 (June 2021): 572–593.

The Art Story. 'Comparison of Abstract vs. Figurative Art'. Accessed 25 November 2021.

Week 5

Piper, Keith. ‘Coming up in the Black Moment’. 2012.

More about the Blk Art Group research project.

Amponsah, George, director. Black Power a Story of Resistance. BBC, 2021.

Johnson, Claudette, Piper, Keith, and Smith, Marlene. ‘Blk Art Group in Conversation’. Association for Art History Conference, April 2021.

Wikipedia. Ron Karenga. Last edited on 23 October 2021.

Week 6

New Work Network. ‘Marlene Smith and the Blk Art Group’. 2 February 2012. Educational Video, 32:04.

‘Police blamed over 1985 Cherry Groce Brixton shooting’. BBC News, 10 July 2014.

Runnymede Trust. ‘The Struggle for Race Equality: An Oral History of the Runnymede Trust, 1968–1988’. Accessed 9 December 2021.

Barbara., Hull, Akasha (Gloria T. ); Bell-Scott, Patricia; Smith. But Some of Us Are Brave All the Women Are White, All the Blacks Are Men: Black Women's Studies. New York: The Feminist Press at the City University of New York, 1982.

“Sojourner Truth: Ain't I A Woman? (U.S. National Park Service).” National Parks Service. US Department of the Interior. Accessed 14 December, 2021.