Ajamu: The Patron Saint of Darkrooms

28 Apr 2023 – 2 Sep 2023

Regular hours

11:00 – 18:00
12:30 – 18:00
11:00 – 18:00
11:00 – 21:00

Free admission

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Unapologetically celebrating black queer bodies and pleasure as activism


For more than 30 years, Ajamu has unapologetically celebrated black queer bodies, the erotic sense and pleasure as activism. He has been at the forefront of genderqueer photography, challenging dominant ideas around masculinity, gender, sexuality and representation of black LGBTQ people in the United Kingdom.

Book free tickets and find out more on Autograph's website

Ajamu’s evocative photographs present the lives and experiences of himself and those around him. From charged self-portraits to tender depictions of lovers, spirited images of friends to objects that his sitters use, The Patron Saint of Darkrooms foregrounds the community that has fostered an environment embracing the politics of pleasure. Since the 1980s, Ajamu has sought to use sensuality and desire as a creative practice, liberating representations of the black queer body.

Autograph has worked with Ajamu since the early 1990s, and a selection of commissioned works by the artist will be shown for the first time, including Black Bodyscapes (1994), focused on the private sexual realities of black gay men. These will be displayed alongside his acclaimed series Black Circus Master (1997), Ecce Homo (2023) Ajamu’s new portraits of black trans men, and more. The gallery will be dominated by an imagined darkroom – coated in thick lines of latex – an allusion to the sense of anticipation in Ajamu’s process. 

This exhibition addresses important issues around sensual identities and lived experience. We'd like you to know before your visit that some images on display include nudity and sexual imagery. Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult.


The exhibition title The Patron Saint of Darkrooms reflects a title bestowed on the artist by the The Trans Pennine Traveling Sisters.

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Ajamu X


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