Nat Akinyi
Opening Saturday 14th September
6 - 8 pm

15.09 - 28.09.19

Nat Akinyi makes digital paintings and animations that address the lack of positive representation of black people, particularly Africans, and people of colour within contemporary popular media, culture and visual art. Her work is a counter to the self-validating white western-centric distorted view of the world presented to us today; a view that maintains blackness as otherness and of lesser value. Akinyi cites Rasheedah Phillips as an influential reference, agreeing with her argument that colonialism and the transtlantic slave trade were time-splintering events for African people. That colonialism in Africa brought with it the rigid European dual-sex system, the nuclear family model, the wage labour system, land tenure, and statehood, the effects of which are still felt today.

Recent works attest to the fact that like how the fine art institution was founded on a devaluing of the art of people of colour, capitalist technological advancement has been attained through the devaluing of the labour, dignity and lives of people of colour. A new publication written and designed by Akinyi produced for this exhibition, ‘Everything Passes Except the Past’, details a trip to the newly re-opened The Royal Museum for Central Africa in Tervuren, Belgium, and delineates the historical and current politics of environmental racism and climate colonialism with specific focus on mineral mining in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and post-colonial Zambia.

Nat Akinyi graduated from BA (Hons) Fine Art in 2019 and is currently based in Norfolk. Her illustrations have been published in gal-dem and she will be featured in the The Aon Community Art Awards at The Leadenhall Buildlng, London this year.

This is the first exhibition in a series of four shows showcasing the work of graduates from BA (Hons) Fine Art at the Glasgow School of Art this year.

Photo credit: Sean Campbell