‘Generation to Generation’ was a physically real size installation of 2 front rooms.
Exploring the differing cultural ideas between Caribbean immigrants of the 1950,s & 60,s
with that of their off-spring the next generation. By examining their surroundings we
questioned, raised discussion into their ideology. This conceptual & functional piece of
black art had a short tour in 1985 & 1986
‘Generation to Generation’ was one of the first major art projects that I was involved with.
It was conceived at the Black Art Gallery in North London and travelled to South London and
More recently continuing in the theme I’ve produced a series of portraits of Elders along
with a soundscape of conversations, interviews & proverbs of Elders for an exhibition/nstallation
exploring the concept of Sankofa –‘Learning from the past, values we need for the future’.
In honouring their struggles and achievements we stand on their platform with clearer views of
where and how to step forward in life.
This is an ongoing project which I started in 2006 with a studio launch in Wandsworth.
In 2007 the exhibition travelled to Brixton and in 2008 to mark the 60th anniversary of the
‘SS Empire Windrush’ (the name of the ship that brought Caribbean people to help build Britain
after ‘World War 2’) I redesigned parts of the show into a digital format.
The wall to wall portraits and the background audio immerses the audience in the Elders
warm protective embrace.
This exhibition is available to tour. I also have developed a
number of workshops that can accompany the show as well as 3 short films, example below. If interested please email.
In honouring their struggles & achievements
We stand on their platform with clearer views
Of where & how to step forward in life.
Review of the exhibition 'From Bronze to Gold'
@ Rich Mix London
13 - 30 october 2011
Revered sculptor ‘Fowokan’ George Kelly and leading artists Alvin Kofi, Ken McCalla,
Jennifer Lewis and Eli Anderson document their relationship with the ‘Benin Bronzes’,
through sculpture, painting, print and words, presenting their modern narratives.
For more info on the 'From Bronze To Gold' exhibition please scroll down.
The storytelling and mask-making family workshop proved to be another very successful day, attracting maximum numbers of participants.
The ‘Better Than Good’ team took families on a journey to West Africa through mystical tales and drumming. Storyteller and poet Eli Anderson weaved imagination and games into his interactive stories.
Artist Ken McCalla gave a short guided tour of the exhibition ‘From Bronze To Gold’ and lead the workshop, inspiring creativity.
Using a mix of different materials families decorated mask and make treasures for Kings and Queens
From Bronze to Gold
Blood, History, Intrigue & Controversy.
Ever since the departure of the Benin bronzes and other works of art from the Yoruba people and the pivotal historical event that took place in 1897,
that saw the introduction of African art into the European psyche; an on-going bitter and often controversial debate of cultural identity has ensued.
We have come to understand the importance of the influences that these artefacts have had on western art and European thinking.
The richness of these unique objects of terracotta, bronze and ivory have become as precious as gold in the hands of their abductors.
But what of the influence, impact, value and meaning, that these artworks have had on those who are still culturally and religiously aligned?
What are the views of artists and activists of the Diaspora, what are their stories, associations and remembrances of these great works?
“From Bronze to Gold” presents the views, stories and thoughts of five artists that explore these intriguing works which have captured the imagination of the world.
Forerunner of the Black British arts movement ‘Fowokan’ George Kelly and leading artists Alvin Kofi, Ken McCalla, Jennifer Lewis and Eli Anderson
document their own relationships to these works and present the story of those individuals who have never stood up and voiced their views.
They will exhibit sculpture and words that represent the spirit of those original artefacts, using modern materials, paintings,
lino cut prints and digital media which borrows from the traditional style of the Benin plaques.
This exhibition promises to be revealing, thought provoking, exciting and wonderfully bold, leaning on the legacy of works of art from the ancient Kingdom of Benin.
BETTER THAN GOOD
Ken McCalla of Yahw Arts, Clem Richards of Alexandra Galleries and Alvin Kofi of Kofi Arts came together and formed
'BETTER THAN GOOD' early 2011 to highlighting the achievements of Black Artist's in Britain.
Growing out of a determination to strengthen the link between the artist, their community and the art appreciative public,
'BETTER THAN GOOD' recognises the need to develop initiatives that values the arts and its ability for creative thought and action.
This can lead to deeper cultural, moral, aesthetic and personal awareness.
Furzedown Oak Community Project art workshops.
I'm a member of a group of local residents & artist that have come together to use the wood from a locally felled
old red oak tree to create a local sculpture trail & promote/inspire ‘a sense of pride’ in the community.
The classes below advertised were part of a programme of events in the Wandsworth Arts Fringe Festival in May 2016