This is my first visit to this gallery in Nottingham. It’s small, with two large rooms only but it seems to have a diverse program.
Hervin Anderson is Birmingham born to Jamaican parents and his artwork references his time growing up there, and his time living in Trinidad.
His process is very slow, taking many months to produce each work. Some preparatory drawings were included in the exhibition which was interesting to look at the process.
There were titles, but not next to the work, which I always find makes it harder to interpret. The titles largely didn’t give any clues either – ‘Ebony’ and ‘B.H.B’.
The blocks look like possible furniture or room arrangements from above. I wasn’t sure how they related to anything else. The 6 arrangement gave me an idea for assignment 2 though, which is to arrange multiple paintings on small plates together.
I really liked the trees, they have an interesting variety of colours and marks. The prep work was detailed, almost a finished work.
My favourite was this work. Many of the faces are stripped back, which is what the artist is aiming for now. With this current climate of needing a campaign about ‘Black lives matter’, he has a very valid point about ordinary black people doing ordinary things not being depicted much in art. They are either sporting heroes or leaders usually. At the bottom is a ‘cityscape’ made up of grooming products -maybe this references his earlier works set in Carribean community barbershops?
These drawings are from the artist’s series ‘Dissonance’. The repetitive mark making does have a sense of energy within it. The pointed shapes also make it feel quite contained. They look like they’re raining down with sharp ends, like swords. I wonder what it would be like in colour. It reminds me of Ann Christopher’s exhibition I saw at the Royal Academy and I think I preferred her variety of marks and colour to this.
Certainly an interesting place to visit, and it will be on my radar in the future!