To mark the conclusion of the 2018 Start Programme, the South London Gallery presented works by pupils from Harris Girls Academy developed with artist Jacob V Joyce.
Jacob took inspiration from the black subjects in European Modernism inviting students from Harris Academy to choose black figures from historical European art works as the characters for their comics. The workshop series and subsequent exhibition addressed the issue of literal and figurative marginalisation as the students often moved their characters from the margins of history to the centre of their own imagined narrative. The comics were then put together into a Rios printed anthology.
A series of Lino cuts were also made to celebrate the protagonists that featured in the students work.
The exhibition also featured works by s by pupils from ARK All Saints Academy, Compass School, Evelyn Grace Academy, Harris Girls Academy East Dulwich and Tuke School developed with artists Chloe Cooper, Marysa Dowling, Sophie Mallett, Nicole Morris and Helen Rousseau. It looked at who we are: our bodies, our races, our nations and our memories. Artworks include national anthems, textile bodies and comics that bring to life forgotten characters from history.
In February 2018 South London Gallery invited me to work with students from Harris Academy Secondary school in Peckham. We took our inspiration from the Michael Armatidge paintings that were on display in the gallery at the time and began painting our own huge batiks using hot wax and water guns filled with paint. Since then we have taken figures from medieval paintings and from a few from ancient mythological pop culture films to create comic book style stories. The children’s comics, that have been made in a layered way to allow for riso printing, have given voices and narratives to characters that are often relegated to the background.
We also turned the protagonists of our stories into lino cut prints, which are now being added to the batiks created in the first sets of workshops.