Fragments Folds and Frays

  • 6th Oct - 2nd Nov 2023
  • Stephen Lawrence Gallery

This exhibition explores the intersections of race and cultural identity through the practices of three contemporary artists of Indian and Ghanaian origin. The title “Fragments Folds and Frays” threads together the fragmented realities of the three artists concerning their post-colonial identities, histories, and experiences through their unravelling use of textiles in exploring colonial legacies, the unfolding of diverse cultural backgrounds and the fraying of traditional boundaries. The exhibition invites viewers to engage in thought-provoking dialogue around post-colonial identity, thought, environmental concerns, and the power of artistic expression in challenging and reimagining existing narratives.

Following a collaborative model, the artists Divya Sharma, Emmanuel Boateng and Patrick Tagoe-Turkson share this platform in questioning the much-used phrase, the ‘post-colonial’. They explore textiles in three different ways, asking the viewer to engage with questions about space, place, sense of belonging and racial hierarchies in contemporary artistic practice through a post-colonial lens. Through this exhibition, the artists are mobilising and intertwining their practices in questioning what it means to be black, brown, and underprivileged in British society, thus highlighting the experiences of marginalised communities and ‘breaking the chains of invisibility’.

Emmanuel Boateng is a Ghanaian British artist and PhD researcher from London whose practice and research explore issues surrounding race, space, disruption, and displacement of Black and brown bodies. Emmanuel is interested in exploring how repetition in Ghanaian traditional Kente weaving processes can be re-imagined in challenging and disrupting imperial ways of seeing in contemporary spaces.

Divya Sharma is an Indian British multi-disciplinary artist (MA Sculpture RCA / BA Painting (Hons) UAL) working with textiles, threads, and video and site-specific installations. Divya’s work is about place-making and imagining, and she is interested in reimagining through the labour of her tapestries, vanished homelands, hidden civilisations, and forgotten peoples and their ignored pasts.

Patrick Tagoe-Turkson threads together discarded flip-flops gathered from the beaches of Ghana into large-scale weaving installations in exploring issues surrounding place, non-place, and our environment. By weaving cut flip-flops into intricate patterns, Patrick’s work is upcycling discarded waste materials whilst raising issues surrounding consumerism, waste, decay, environmental conservation, and sustainability.

A podcast for the Fragments Folds and Frays show at the Stephen Lawrence Gallery – featuring Emmanuel Boateng, Divya Sharma and Patrick Tagoe-Turkson is available HERE.