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Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Monday 31 May 2021

New Visual Arts Exhibitions Reflecting The Realities Of The Legacies Of Colonialism @ Brighton Fringe 2021

A new visual arts programme will present ten diverse artists across two exhibitions and three venues as part of this year's Brighton Fringe, until 25th July 2021. 
Credit Kemi Oloyede

Sussex-based socially engaged arts agency urbanflo Creative will launch the six month OXYGEN series starting this month and continuing until October. 

The programme aims to open up a powerful new lens to explore the human condition and new narratives from the perspective of communities still impacted by the legacies of colonialism. 

The breathTAKING exhibition at Phoenix Main Gallery is curated by urbanflo founder/Director Jenni Lewin-Turner and offers a rare mainstream platform for local artists to present bold new multi-disciplinary interpretations, through illustration, digital art, spoken word and video, plus leading edge works using virtual reality, augmented reality and facial detection. 

Guest creatives include Judith Ricketts, Josef Cabey, River Sweeney and AFLO. the Poet. 

The Covert exhibition takes its inspiration from the gypsy fortune-teller of Brighton Pier penny arcades' yesteryears, featuring art work from Black, Asian and ethnically diverse artists sharing their vision of the future.


The exhibition is curated by Amy Zamarripa Solis and will feature artists Kemi Oloyede, SD Chatterjee, Edi Mandala, Vincent Oyenga, Sonji Art and Martins Deep.

These future-facing art works offer electric eye-popping renditions of Afro-futurist identities, dreamy galaxies, earthly utopias, and a youthful hope for the future, but also reminders of the continuing racial struggles and battles experienced in the UK and globally, both inwards and outwards, all manifestations of systemic racism. 

The art works were originally selected for Writing Our Legacy's first edition of Covert  literary magazine for Black, Asian and ethnically diverse writers and artists of colour, published in December 2020 in association with New Writing South.

Jenni Lewin-Turner, Director, urbanflo Creative said: 

"As with all urbanflo initiatives, the OXYGEN series aims to platform creative talent from different social and cultural perspectives - offering fresh narratives that resonate deeply with wider communities. 

"2021 marks a personal 35-year career milestone in Brighton's arts sector and it's also the 10th anniversary of urbanflo international exhibitions and cultural exchanges.  

"However, perhaps the most remarkable landmark to note is this first time ever invitation to produce a show in a mainstream arts venue on home turf. 

"The breathTAKING exhibition is funded in part by Phoenix Art Space and the Centre for Arts and Wellbeing at the University of Brighton. 

"The Covert exhibition is in partnership with This Too Is Real, Writing Our Legacy and Plus X Innovation Hub." 

OXYGEN series @ Brighton Fringe 2021. breath TAKING exhibition, Phoenix Art Space, 10-14 Waterloo Pl, Brighton BN2 9NB, 16 June to 25 July. Covert exhibition, Jubilee Library, Jubilee St, Brighton BN1 1GE, 21 May to 4 June & Plus X Innovation Hub, Lewes Rd, Brighton BN2 4GL, 28 May to 25 July Free entry. For more information, see https://www.urbanflo.com/oxygen.

by: Mike Cobley




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