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Keith Piper at <em>Blk Art Group </em>Symposium 2012
Wednesday 22 February 2012 Sheffield

Keith Piper: founder-member of the Blk Art Group

at Graves Gallery, Sheffield: Wednesday 22 February 12:00pm - 8:00pm

Coinciding with the exhibition The Blk Art Group at the Graves Gallery (Sheffield, UK), the Blk Art Group Symposium 2012 brings together artists and curators associated with the group in order to reappraise the cultural and artistic legacy of their work from the early 1980’s and explore its relevance for 2012.

Jason Bowman, Sonia Boyce, Lubaina Himid, Claudette Johnson, Keith Piper, Marlene Smith, Mike Tooby.

The Blk Art Group were art students who between 1981 and 1984 made what they named “radical black art”, organised exhibitions of that work and gathered other students and artists to discuss its form, function and future. The group’s line up and even its name changedover time but several members: Eddie Chambers, Claudette Johnson, Keith Piper, Donald Rodney and Marlene Smith played a consistentand influential role in its birth and evolution.The Blk Art Group are referenced today as a key contributor to what has come to be known as “the black arts movement” of 1980s Britain.Their work raised the profile of black artists, who up until then had received little attention. In their wake the art establishment had to ask itself whether it was excluding black artists and audiences and whether it had been doing so for some years. A series of high profile exhibitions of black artists work would follow.

Keith Piper has compiled a scrapbook documenting the Blk Art Group’s activities throughout 1983. It gives a remarkable insight into the mood, politics and even the design of the British artworld in the mid 80's, and some of the press commentary and racist visitor comments are extraordinary. Read it online here

For further information, please visisit the symposium and exhibition pages.

Keith Piper's ADRI page

Keith Piper's personal site

Keith Piper on wikipedia