At last year’s artist-run Multiverse Summit held at Eastside Projects, Birmingham, The White Pube delivered a hard hitting provocation to all artist led spaces within the UK, challenging their complacency and unacknowledged racial bias. Urging artist led spaces to tackle institutional racism and the lack of presence of people of colour within the arts at all levels it triggered a direct response from Test Space, Bristol who, as a first step, have initiated the project, ‘Why Are We Not Here?’
This exhibition – which is timed to take place during Open Studios, the busiest event in Spike Island’s year, where upwards of seven thousand people will visit the space over the early May Bank Holiday Weekend - will be showing the work of seven artists working with sound, installation, print, poetry and painting mediums, including a programme of talks and workshops that will further question the complacency of arts institutions.
Artists that will be featured are: Courtenay Welcome, Donnell Asare, Kiara Corales, Nadia Lloyd, Nick Ogri, Fatima Murtala, Leeza Awojobi, and Jasmine Thompson.
Stacey and Anika were invited to curate Why are we not here? for Rising Arts Agency after previously working together on Throwing Shade an exhibition following a residency with Bristol City Council and Artspace Lifespace.
Stacey Olika is a graphic designer, creative director, curator and speaker. She is currently leading a number of projects, working as Programme Support Assistant for UWE Graphic Design leading its speaker series and degree show publication focusing on engaged conversations about race. She is also a youth board member for Rising Arts Agency and creative director for Africa Week UK.
Anika Deb is multidisciplinary artist and practicing curator. She has recently been involved in Bristol Museum and Art Gallery’s Young Exhibition Producer’s Programme, producing and curating a show for a young audience in response to the Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing exhibition. She is currently a fellow at Spike Island and co-runs artist led space Latch, programming arts, music and film events.