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Title: Growing pains : gender and the legacy of Black British art
Author: Fowler-Paul, Monique
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2007
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This thesis explores the issues, themes, and debates concerning contemporary artists of African. Afro-Caribbean, and Afro-Asian descent who have lived, studied, and exhibited in Britain. Taking the instigation and development of the Black Art Movement in the 1980s as a starting point, it seeks to describe and explain the various relationships contemporary British artists of African descent have with this art history and with artistic and personal categorizations based on race, colour, ethnicity, and African heritage. A brief historiography of the social, cultural, and historical context of Britain during and after post-war immigration serves to contextualize their practice, and is followed by specific case studies. These focus on four artists: Magdalene Odundo, Veronica Ryan, Mary Evans, and Maria Amidu. The case studies represent new documentation of the artists' lives and careers as well as the re-interpretation of extant data and scholarship in order to explicate the multiple positionings of these artists and their work with regards to the overlapping social contextualizations, trajectories, and discourses in which they are situated. I conclude with a comparative discussion of a larger group of "Black British" artists focusing on several key concepts, including individual trajectories, and conceptualizations of diaspora, homelands, displacement, gender, audience, visibility, and identity. In order to understand the framings of these artists' agency and visual practice, I draw on a range of theoretical approaches, including phenomenology, iconography, semiotics, functionalism, and post-colonial discourse. This analysis and discussion serves to elucidate and explain, through a variety of responses and individual experienees, the complexities, ambiguities, and evolutions of ways in which artists negotiate categorizations of "Black British.".
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral