Following his recent exhibition as part of the Dark Matter: Series 01 group show last November, artist and curator, Hamed Maiye will be launching his three-part project and exhibition this April.
Afro-Portraitism explores the art of portraiture within the African diaspora, taking all the connotations portraiture has carried throughout history and applying them to today’s current social climate. The project is a joint exercise between the Artist, multiple photographers, designers and directors - all from the African diaspora.
After recently collaborating with IggyLDN on his project ‘Black Boys Don’t Cry’, White Negatives further explore the concept of representation through his photography within this project. Through his fashion photography style, White Negatives creates imagery which portrays the characters in a positive yet bold light.
Liz Knuckles explains that by taking influence from the paintings it challenged her to focus her photography on the emotion of the characters, transferring the same feeling from medium to medium.
Hannah Faith harnesses a style which focuses on self expression. Her photography in this project places an emphasis on ‘self ’ and how individuals are viewed. Being a constant advocate for self care, Hannah is able to not only express herself but the characters through her photography.
Tunde Awoyemi expresses the importance of moving visual through the third medium. By complementing the video with the song ‘Pedestrian’ by Dylema, Tunde shows the power of the ‘ordinary’ and how we as every day pedestrians hold the key to our own representation.
For the project Maiye commissioned three designers including menswear designer Bianca Saunders, who takes influence from her cultural background and identity and transfers it into her work. Her collections explore themes such as gender and cultural roots and explores how new conversations can be created by blurring binary concepts within fashion. Fashion atelier student Robert Jesse explores the importance of craft within his work. Jesse explores themes such as nostalgia within his work. His current collection creates an intersectional tie between anime and prosthetics and experiments with materials. Fashion Design Technology graduate Jazz Grant explores story telling through her work. Her narrative lead collection titled ‘Dudus’ based on an infamous Jamaican character, creates looks which explore themes such gender and sexuality but more importantly cultural taboos.
Afro-portraitism explores the concept of self representation. The project which began with a series of paintings by Hamed Maiye, inspired by subjects who represent the multiple different facets of the diaspora in their own unique way, has developed into a project with multiple mediums. All of which take direct influence from the paintings and explore them through a collaborative exercise that further extends into a collaborative exhibition at The Gallery @ Republic in London on the 21st and 22nd of April. The exhibition, co-curated by Nicole Crentsil and Annabelle Nguyen, extends the conversation based on self representation using artists of the diaspora within the UK. A carefully selected group of fine artists, photographers, illustrators and videographers will be showcasing their individual interpretations of the theme at the exhibition.
The birth of Afro-portraitism as an arts movement creates an umbrella for which many artists of the diaspora can identify with. Hamed Maiye will further explore the movement in the future through more collaborative exercises and also individual projects and pieces.
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