First-of-its-kind Jamaican art exhibition opening in Liverpool

The first exhibition of wholly Jamaican art to be displayed in North-West England will find its home in Liverpool this spring. The exhibition has been curated by Dr Emma Roberts, Associate Dean for Global Engagement for the Faculty of Arts, Professional and Social Studies at LJMU.  

Jamaica Making: The Theresa Roberts Art Collection exhibition at the Victoria Gallery & Museum will feature more than thirty artworks from the extensive collection of Jamaican-born entrepreneur and philanthropist Theresa Roberts.


Dr Emma Roberts said: “I am honoured to be the Curator of the Jamaica Making exhibition. This first-of-its-kind exhibition coincides with the 60th anniversary of Independence in Jamaica, bringing together works by key artists in Jamaican art history since 1962, celebrating their important contributions.”

Theresa gave permission for Emma to select the artworks for this exhibition from her extensive private collection, for the benefit of visitors from the Merseyside region.

Opening on 19 February, the free exhibition will run until 9 July 2022 and can be viewed Tuesday to Saturday, between 10am and 5pm. Emma has also edited the accompanying exhibition book, and written the main essay therein, which will be launched at an online event on 17 February  and is available through the Liverpool University Press and Victoria Gallery and Museum.

A special satellite exhibition will be hosted in the LJMU John Lennon Art & Design Building from 19 February to 9 July, featuring the work of Desanna Watson, whose work is also included in the main gallery exhibition.

Desanna is an artist and art teacher in Kingston, Jamaica, and will travel to Liverpool for a month-long residency in which she will run workshops with schools, community groups and university students in order to illuminate the themes of the exhibition.

She will also be working with Adam Vasco from LJMU’s School of Education on his ‘Everyday Heroes’ project, which engages young people from our local communities and aims to address the recruitment crisis of Black and Brown educators in Liverpool. Adam’s work also aims to increase the number of diverse applicants, not only to the School of Education, but to the wider university.

Desanna’s own artwork is about the impact of colonisation in Jamaica (such as streets bearing the names of slavers), and her work in this area preceded the recent discussions on this topic that were part of the #BlackLivesMatter movement.

Explore a wide range of materials on Black Lives Matter from inside and outside LJMU in our curated online space.