Peter Brathwaite on Rediscovering Black Portraiture

Thursday 13th July

Peter Brathwaite on Rediscovering Black Portraiture. In Conversation with Mark Sealy OBE.


Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, acclaimed baritone Peter Brathwaite has thoughtfully researched, reimagined, and recreated—using household props and incorporating objects from his own ancestry–more than one hundred artworks featuring portraits of black sitters. Originally all posted to social media, Brathwaite’s work is now collected in a new book, Rediscovering Black Portraiture (Getty Publications). With these elaborate and inventive interpretations, Brathwaite invites us to consider larger questions concerning the Black presence in Western visual culture, reminding us that Black subjects have been portrayed in art for nearly a millennium.

Illustrated by projections of his re-creations, Brathwaite will be in conversation with Mark Sealy, director of Autograph, London. The discussion will be followed by a Q&A.

*There is no charge to attend this event, and we encourage donation tickets. If you’re unable to attend the event, we are unable to refund your donation.

Peter Brathwaite is a British opera singer who works across different art forms to express suppressed stories and voices. In addition to performing on major international opera stages, he devises his own theatre productions. He has been shortlisted for a Royal Philharmonic Society Music Award, and his collaborative work has won a Laurence Olivier Award. Brathwaite’s photographs have been exhibited by King’s College London / Wellcome Trust and the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery. As a broadcaster for BBC Radio 3, he has authored and presented programs on Black portraiture and the cultural legacy of enslavement in Barbados. He has written for The Guardian and The Independent, and he is a prominent speaker on performance, identity, and restorative justice in the arts. He is a graduate of Newcastle University.

Dr Mark Sealy, OBE, is interested in the relationship between photography and social change, identity politics, race, and human rights. He has been director of Autograph, London, since 1991 and is presently professor of photography, race, and human rights at University of the Arts London. He grew up in Newcastle and is a trustee of The Baltic. His PhD, Durham University England, focused on Photography and Cultural Violence.