BA History of Art students curate exhibition ‘Where Are You From, From?’

The University of Kent’s Studio 3 Gallery is pleased to present Where Are You From, From? Black British Culture in Print 1800s-Now.

The exhibition, which is open now and running until the 26 May 2023, chronicles the changing nature of Black diasporic identities in Britain from the black Victorians of the 19th century to predictions on the future state of black culture and representation.

Curated by a dedicated team of 3rd year History of Art students and made possible by gracious loans and volunteers from Canterbury, London and surrounding areas, the works present a range of influential Black British artists engaging with concepts such as class, race, music, dress and religion in their work.

When considering the impact of the exhibition, curator Reaia Parkes said: ‘The exhibition started as part of our third year ‘Print Collecting and Curating’ module, but quickly developed into something much more. Where Are You From, From? is the 10th official exhibition of the Kent Print Collection – an ongoing collection of print artworks acquired by and for the undergraduates of University of Kent – and yet, before this show, the collection housed no prints by Black or Black British artists.

‘We are proud to say that it now holds several new works, that you can find displayed in the show, and we hope this opens the door for many more diverse acquisitions in the years to come.’

The work involved in building the exhibition offers students a unique opportunity to gain real world experience in many aspects of the art world including curating, marketing, and finance. The skills honed through the module will aid their employability opportunities following graduation by highlighting their practical knowledge.

Reflecting on the experience Alexandra Buttigieg said: Although challenging, having the chance to create an art exhibition in such a short space of time, with a brilliant team, has undoubtedly been the most rewarding project I’ve completed throughout my university course. It has not only challenged me to get out of my comfort zone, but enhanced my knowledge of Black British culture. Knowing the amount of work and team participation required to create an exhibition has given me a new found appreciation for curating.’