#CantStopOurFlow: Celebrating Black Artistic Expression at J/M Gallery

NOVEMBER 4,5,6,7,8,9,10 11:00 GMT

Join us on a journey, celebrating the very best artistic expression of black identity, sense of place and exploring the cultural roots from which we all stem from. #CantStopOurFlow engages with some key questions of the moment: how do Black artists create work that emphasises cultural production for and by Black people to imagine new possibilities? What aesthetic preferences do Black artists draw on to inform their practices? And can the decorative arts have the same political agency for Black people as other forms of artistic expression, such as the visual arts.

#CantStopOurFlow explores themes of intimacy between black men and women, the politics of afro-hair, female empowerment, and the connection between art, healing, and self-discovery. The physical exhibition at the J/M Gallery will give viewers the chance to see some of the works in the flesh.

Curator Sukai Eccleston of CasildART said, ‘I wanted to curate an exhibition that showcases a range of artistic talents and gives the artists (as well as the viewer) space to redefine and reframe the narrative about how black art is seen – which is not just for its political function, but its beauty too.’’

Many of the artists are new or emerging and not yet household names, but the works themselves are bold, exciting, and a delicious feast for the eyes. The physical exhibition focuses on the work of two artists: Oluwole Omofemi and Tony Daley. Omofemi is achieving some attention outside of Nigeria where he lives. Earlier this year he had a solo exhibition at the Mayfair Signature Gallery where his work was well received. #CantStopOurFlow features three of Omofemi’s paintings from his Root series – imaginative portraits of women with exaggerated Afro hairstyles. For Omofemi hair is a metaphor for freedom and power and is used as a potent symbol of identity.

Tony Daley, on the other hand, has a career that spans many decades in England. A Jamaican born artist and a graduate of Chelsea College of Art, Daley has exhibited widely and the J/M Gallery will include several of his large scale paintings. His work is often compared with Frank Bowling, another Caribbean artist, and the English landscape painter JMW Turner, and it’s no wonder as Daley’s paintings have an immersive quality that you just want to step into. Of his work Daley states: “As a painter/person living in the ‘here and now’ I am deeply welded intellectually and creatively to the nature of existence itself. Of genesis through to life, birth, death, and rebirth therefrom.”

The virtual exhibition is available to tour now on the Kunstmatrix platform, and the physical exhibition opens on 4th November and runs until 10th November 2020 at the J/M Gallery, 230 Portobello Road London W11 1LJ. Tickets are free to book.