Our new project ‘GHT Futures Forum’ looks to create a safe, supportive environment for Southampton’s *Black and non-Black artists of colour at all stages of their careers. Led by Southampton artist and writer, Nazneen Ahmed, and supported by ‘a space’ arts and God’s House Tower, we are proposing a series of monthly informal meet-ups (to take place online until it is safe to meet in person). Artists, curators and makers of all disciplines are welcome.
We are delighted to be welcoming Mary Genis and Maria Amidu for a special artist spotlight event. In this informal panel discussion the two artists will be invited to share their experiences and careers to date.
Maria Amidu is a UK-based visual artist and writer, developing national and international site-specific and public realm projects. Her artistic concerns are influenced by the scope and significance of common experiences. She is interested in the relationships between people and place and what is hidden, obscured or unspoken in various social situations, using these elements as a means to try and substantiate myriad lived experiences.
The form her work takes is often artist’s books, print and photography, and more, recently film. She also utilises her craft practice and makes works with wax, clay and cast glass. She has developed varied projects including “Where are we?” (2020), FrancisKnight; somewhere (2020), SEAS & Brighton Festival; edge/threshold/brink (2018) Nuit Blanche Toronto; Act, Campaign, Petition, Reform, Lobby, Argue and Soit droit fait come est desire (Let it be done as it is desired) (2015), Houses of Parliament; and a moment of your time (2013), People United & Turner Contemporary. She has recently been commissioned by Metal Southend to create a new permanent work for the Thames Estuary Trail as part of Estuary Festival 2021. Maria is a Winston Churchill Fellow, and currently a LAHP funded PhD Candidate at the Royal College of Art, London.
Mary Genis is the Artistic Director and Founder of CultureMix Arts. She is a visual and performance artist, a musician, writer, designer and producer devising and delivering projects, activities and digital content that celebrate the arts by drawing inspiration from different cultures.
Mary started out as a fashion and theatre costume designer and a touring freelance musician. In 1997 she set up a community steel band RASPO in Reading Berkshire and in 2017 won a British Association of Steelband (BAS) Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of her sustained and continuous work over many years promoting steel pan, and inspiring and leading others.
She is a Clore Fellow and Kings College London alumni, the chair of Black mentoring charity Reading Refocus and a trustee for arts charity Jelly and London Notting Hill Carnival organiser Carnival Village Trust.
Today CultureMix is one of the UK’s leading lights in professional carnival music entertainment, education and arts development fulfilling Mary’s vision to offer vocational training and realistic employment opportunities in a growing creative industry.
‘I believe everyone has the right to take part in the arts, we create employment and with performance opportunities artists can fulfil their creative ambitions whilst earning a living doing something they love.’
With thanks to Southampton City Council, Arts Council England and Mayflower 400 for supporting this event.