THE WORK BETWEEN US:
BLACK BRITISH ARTISTS & EXHIBITION HISTORIES
Wednesday 20 January 2016
Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool, UK
Dr Anjalie Dalal-Clayton
Re-Cognising Black Skin/Bluecoat
Black Skin/Bluecoat was a four-week exhibition staged at the Bluecoat in Liverpool in 1985, and showcased the work of four black British artists: Sonia Boyce, Eddie Chambers, Tam Joseph and Keith Piper. It frequently sits alongside Into the Open (1984) and The Image Employed (1987) in the historiography of exhibitions in the 1980s that displayed work by black British artists in the group show format. Yet, the circumstances through which the exhibition was organised and the way in which the artworks shown in it reflected new trajectories in British and modern art is largely unknown to scholars in the fields of exhibition studies and black British art history. This paper presents the critical and unique exhibition history of Black Skin/Bluecoat, using archival material and recent first-hand interviews with its curator and the artists that participated in it.