Una's Voice, Rosa-Johan Uddoh, 2022, installation views.
Photos: Jonathan Bassett
Opens 30 April 2022 4-7pm
Exhibition continues 1 May - 4 June 2022
Wednesday - Sunday, 12-5pm
Artist Rosa-Johan Uddoh will be working in The Bower throughout March and April, treating her time there as a writing and sound residency inspired by the work of Una Marson, which visitors can experience when the exhibition opens in May. Una Marson was a British/Jamaican activist, radio producer, presenter, and poet; the first black woman to work as a radio producer at the BBC in 1942. She is commemorated with a blue plaque on the house where she lived on Brunswick Park road opposite The Bower.
Uddoh will draw on the legacy of Una Marson's Caribbean Voices, a BBC radio programme produced by Marson broadcasting Caribbean writing. She will re-present inspiring texts detailing black experiences that will be read aloud and shared with members of the local community and invited guests.
This project stems from Uddoh's research into Una Marson's life and work and exhibition at Black Tower Projects in 2019 when she began the Una Marson Reading & Listening Group. Later that year she recorded a pilot radio show at The Bower with Bolanle Tajudeen, Jasmine Uddoh and Star Tajudeen for Art Licks Weekend Radio in collaboration with TACO!, a precursor for this project which has been postponed since 2020.
A new book, Practice Makes Perfect published by Book Works and Focal Point Gallery, in partnership with Bluecoat, Liverpool and The Bower and designed by Rose Nordin will be launched during the exhibition. The book will be Uddoh’s first and comprises a collection of scripts, pictures, poems, essays and songs, each aiming to trouble how a particular character in popular culture performs (and produces) ‘Black British’ identity.
Rosa-Johan Uddoh was recently profiled in Art Monthly, and the interview is now available to read here.
Listen to the full audio below:
This exhibition is supported by Arts Council England and The Art Fund.
Rosa-Johan Uddoh is an interdisciplinary artist working towards radical self-love. She is inspired by Black feminist practice and writing. Through performance, writing and multi-media installation, she explores places, objects and celebrities in British popular culture, and their effects on self-formation. Collaboration is key to her work, often working together with children, activists and other artists to explore themes that impact our communities and share knowledge. Uddoh is a lecturer in Performance at Central Saint Martins. She was a finalist for Arts Foundation Futures Awards 2021, Liverpool Biennial and John Moores Univerity Fellow 2018-2019 and the Stuart Hall Library Resident for 2020. She was a Sarabande: Lee Alexander Mc Queen Scholar.
Previous solo presentations include: ‘Practice Makes Perfect’, Focal Point Gallery, touring to Bluecoat, Liverpool (2021), ‘”She is still alive!”’, Destiny’s (Oslo, 2020), ‘Studies for Impartiality’, Jupiter Woods and ‘Sphinx at the Crystal Palace’, Black Tower Projects (both London, 2019). Group shows include: ‘Brand New Heavies’, Pioneer Works (New York, 2021), ‘Learning by Doing’, 68 Institute (Copenhagen, 2019), New Contemporaries (London & Liverpool 2018) and ‘Black Blossoms’, The Royal Standard (Liverpool, 2017). Recently she has screened work at East London Cable’s ‘TV Dinners E03’ at Tate Modern, 2019.