We Face Forward is a season of contemporary art and music from West Africa, celebrated across Manchester’s galleries, museums, music venues and public spaces from 2 June to 16 September as part of London 2012 Festival. It is the first major collaboration between Manchester City Galleries and Whitworth Art Gallery. 

The accompanying 128 page publication includes an introductory essay by the curators Maria Balshaw, Bryony Bond, Mary Griffiths and Natasha Howes which sets the historic context of the relationship between Manchester and West Africa and discusses the main themes which run throughout the exhibition. Other essays by Christine Eyene, Lubaina Himid, Koyo Kouoh and Alan Rice explore the wider context for the exhibition including tracing the image of the thread, an engagement with British artists of African descent, a focus on independent contemporary art spaces in West Africa and an exploration of the history of African Atlantic residents in Cottonopolis. Furthermore there are texts on each of the 33 artists in the exhibition with full colour images of their work.ISBN 978 0901673817


Migrations  Tate Britain       31 January  –  12 August 2012 

This exhibition explores British art through the theme of migration from 1500 to the present day, reflecting the remit of Tate Britain Collection displays. From the sixteenth and seventeenth century Flemish and Dutch landscape and still-life painters who came to Britain in search of new patrons, through moments of political and religious unrest, to Britain’s current position within the global landscape, the exhibition will reveal how British art has been fundamentally shaped by successive waves of migration. Cutting a swathe through 500 years of history, and tracing not only the movement of artists but also the circulation of visual languages and ideas, this exhibition will include works by artists from Lely, Kneller, Kauffman to Sargent, Epstein, Mondrian, Bomberg, Bowling and the Black Audio Film Collective as well as recent work by contemporary artists.

Guardian Review

Tate Britain Migrations in pictures.

Art Desk Migrations

Between the two my Heart is Balanced 1991


Cotton: Global Threads

Independent –  Photo gallery


Although most of us put cotton against our skin almost everyday, in the form of socks and T-shirts, the story of cotton is far from everyday, which is why it has been turned into an extensive exhibition at the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester.

Cotton: Global Threads, which opens tomorrow, gives a global history of the production, consumption and trade in cotton, featuring pieces from the Middle Ages to the present day. New commissions by contemporary artists, including Yinka Shonibare and Lubaina Himid, will hang alongside the gallery’s permanent textile collection.

Click here or on “View Gallery” for a picture preview

“Cotton is the best-selling and most widely used fibre in the world. Its manufacture has exposed both the promise and the perils of global capitalism, and no other industry is so closely associated with the exploitation of human labour – from the slave plantations of the US and Marx and Engels’ ‘satanic mills’ of Lancashire to the garment factories of South China today,” curator Jennifer Harris said.

“We want to use this exhibition to tell its important story, not only from an artistic perspective, but also economically and ethically.”

From 11 February to 13 May 2012


Eyeonart Blog spot Thin Black Line(s) Tate Britain




Northern Art Prize



Interview with Lubaina Himid