Actions and Detail Panel
Curator Introduction: Reimaging Donald Rodney
Fri 7 October 2016, 17:30 – 18:30 BST
You are invited to a special preview of new exhibition, Reimaging Donald Rodney, introduced by curator Ian Sergeant. Refreshments available.
Reimaging Donald Rodney launches a programme of exhibition and events exploring digital legacy and identity through the work of Black British artist Donald Rodney (1961 - 1998). Curated by Ian Sergeant & Produced by Yasmeen Baig-Clifford, this is the first UK exhibition to specifically examine Rodney’s digital practice, and includes an events series to explore the potential of Rodney’s archive as a starting point for exploring cultural, physical and social identity. Join us to celebrate an important exhibition celebrating and recognising the achievements of a Midlands born artist considered to be one of the most significant of his generation.
Donald Rodney chose to incorporate his medical condition in his artistic practice, using it as a metaphor of black emasculation and racial stereotyping. Born in Smethwick, West Midlands in 1961 to Jamaican parents, Rodney and his family lived on Marshall St, visited by Malcolm X in 1965 when racial tension in the area was high. The racial climate to which Rodney was exposed had a lasting impression on him. He developed his artistic skills during prolonged periods of hospitalisation, resulting in him regularly missing school, due to his sickle cell condition. After taking an arts foundation course at Bournville School of Art in Birmingham he went on to Nottingham Trent, where he met Keith Piper and Eddie Chambers.
Whether political or personal, Rodney illustrated his versatility, utilising a range of mediums for artistic expression through painting, installations, audio, robotics, film and archive. Becoming a prominent member of the Blk Arts Group, Rodney highlighted the socio-political condition of Britain of the 80s/90s, its colonial past and the ensuing global impact. Sadly, Rodney died from sickle-cell anaemia in March 1998, aged 37.
Reimaging Donald Rodney aims to encapsulate the digital embodiment and legacy of Donald Rodney, engaging a new generation with an historically important visual arts practice. Rodney’s innovation in the face of the disabling, life limiting health condition sickle cell anaemia further informs two new commissions to support collaborative digital practice, which will be presented during the exhibition.
For full exhibition information and forthcoming events, see http://www.vividprojects.org.uk/programme/reimaging-donald-rodney/
Venue: Vivid Projects, 16 Minerva Works, 158 Fazeley St, Birmingham B5 5RS
Project updates on Twitter: @VIVID_ and
Reimaging Donald Rodney is supported by The National Lottery through Arts Council England, Henry Moore Foundation, The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art and Vivid Projects. Additional programme support from University of Birmingham and Birmingham Dance Network.
For full information on the exhibition including event bookings and a list of works, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.