AboutLost Languages and other voices is the first major retrospective of work by Joy Gregory, one of the most significant artists to emerge from the Black British photography movement of the 1980s.
Spanning twenty years the exhibition brings together fourteen bodies of work exploring race, history and gender, encompassing a wide range of photographic media from digital video installations to Victorian printing techniques. The title of the exhibition refers to the works Gomera (2008) and Kalahari (2009) in which Gregory draws attention to the cultural importance of marginalised African indigenous languages. Journeys feature recurrently in Gregory's work, which has been made in diverse locations including South Africa, the Orkneys, Sri Lanka, and the Caribbean.
Cinderella Tours Europe (1997-2001) parodies the notion of the Grand Tour, with photographs of a seductive pair of gold high-heeled shoes travelling from the Caribbean to well-known sites in Paris and Venice; whilst Hoy/Hobart (2008) is inspired by the onerous journey from London to Hoy, a trip that took the same amount of time as one to Hobart in Tasmania. Assumptions about feminine beauty are also consistently explored. The Fairest (1998) and Bottled Blonde (1998) examine the desire to be blonde and its racial implications, whilst Objects of Beauty (1992 1995) critiques consumer products of the Western fashion industry. Many of the works have been fabricated specially for this show, and are being shown here for the first time in the UK.
Lost Languages and other voices is curated by Anne McNeill