2021 is a great year of reckoning for many Black women artists in the UK, from the great winner of the 2017 Turner Prize Lubaina Himid to critically acclaimed Sonia Boyce, but also for young and upcoming artists. And an amazing set of exhibitions allows us to enjoy their powerful work this summer and autumn.
It starts with the exceptional Mother of Mankind exhibition on view at the House Of Fine Arts Mayfair space in London, which is free and open until 31 August. The Ghanaian gallerist Adora Mba especially curated it to feature 16 global Black women artists, with each of them portraying a unique sense of what Black female consciousness can be. Mother of Mankind is a reference to the African continent as the origin of humanity, the exhibition creates cross-continental dialogues around the subject of Black femininity.
Adora Mba is the founder and director of ADA \ contemporary art gallery, established in Accra, Ghana, in 2020. She felt privileged to
“showcase the works of these remarkably talented artists in one of the cities I call home”,
she said. The artists presented in this show are in the early days of their artistic careers, yet they are “already making waves and drawing attention amidst an industry, which tends to be more supportive of their male counterparts,” Adora added.
Joined together in a virtual discussion, the artists’ works compose a reflection of different parts of the African continent and its diaspora, from Nigeria to South Africa, the UK, the USA, and Canada. Featured works by award-winning artists, such as Emma Prempeh (British artist based in London), Jamilla Okubo (an interdisciplinary artist exploring the intricacies of belonging to an American, Kenyan, and Trinidadian identity) and Adebunmi Gbadebo (born and based in New Jersey).