‘Laced: In Search of What Connects Us’ at New Art Exchange in Nottingham

Exploring themes of love, labour and liberty, ‘Laced: In Search of What Connects Us’ brings together the work of seven female artists from Africa and its diasporas. Rather than focusing solely on geography and gender, the exhibition looks at the processes and labour of making art and the burdens of emotional and physical labour placed on women, especially women of colour. In addition, it examines the role technology plays in forming new types of labour and private versus public spheres and personas. 

Laced, 2021. Installation view, New Art Exchange (Tabita Rezaire). Photo Reece Straw.
Laced, 2021. Installation view, New Art Exchange (Tabita Rezaire). Photo Reece Straw.

The exhibiting artists Simnikiwe Buhlungu, Rahima Gambo, Wura-Natasha Ogunji, Zohra Opoku, Tabita Rezaire, Lerato Shadi and Michaela Yearwood-Dan, form a part of Loren Hansi Gordon, the curator’s network and connection to Africa and its diasporas. Gordon’s projects and writings regularly examine things that connect us as humans.

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As a temporary stitchwork to hold together a set of ideas, impressions and connections, Gordon began the curatorial process by developing a poetic text to guide the selection and commissioning of works and her research has culminated in a rich web of interconnections that offer viewers a glimpse into the multiplicity of female diasporic experience.

Love as a source of creative energy, as articulated by feminist scholar bell hooks in her seminal text ‘All About Love’ is also a key inspiration that can be traced through the show, inviting viewers to meditate on the threads that connect us.

‘Laced: In Search of What Connects Us’ features a range of media – painting, photography, video, sound, installation, textiles and drawing – and visually is experienced as a lush landscape of vivid colours, deep-ocean waters and lush tropical vegetation. 

The exhibition is on view until January 9, 2022, at the New Art Exchange in Nottingham, UK. 

Tabita Rezaire, Still from Deep Down Tidal, 2017. Courtesy of New Art Exchange
Tabita Rezaire, Still from Deep Down Tidal, 2017. Courtesy of the artist.
Zohra Opoku, Cyperus Papyrus, 2015. Screen-print on textile, Image courtesy the artist.
Zohra Opoku, Cyperus Papyrus, 2015. Screen-print on textile, Image courtesy the artist.
Laced, 2021. Installation view, New Art Exchange (Zohra Opoku). Photo Reece Straw.
Laced, 2021. Installation view, New Art Exchange (Zohra Opoku). Photo Reece Straw.
Michaela Yearwood Dan in Laced exhibition at New Art Exchange. Photo Reece Straw
New work by Michaela Yearwood Dan commissioned by New Art Exchange. Photo Reece Straw
Installation view OF LACED exhibition at New Art Exchange (Rahima Gambo's work in view). Photo Reece Straw.
Laced, 2021. Installation view, New Art Exchange (Rahima Gambo). Photo Reece Straw.
Simnikwe's works in Laced exhibition at New Art Exchange Photo Reece Straw.jpg
Laced, 2021. Installation view, New Art Exchange (Simnikwe). Photo Reece Straw.
Close up - Simnikwe installation in Laced, 2021 at New Art Exchange. Photo Reece Straw.
Close up – Simnikwe installation in Laced, 2021 at New Art Exchange. Photo Reece Straw.
Laced, 2021. Installation view, New Art Exchange (L-R) M. Yearwood Dan, L. Shadi, W. Ogunji. Photo Reece Straw.
Laced, 2021. Installation view, New Art Exchange (L-R) M. Yearwood Dan, L. Shadi, W. Ogunji. Photo Reece Straw.

Featured image: Wura Natasha Ogunji, Portrait, 2016. Courtesy of the artist. 

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