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Black pioneers celebrated at new exhibition

HONOURED: Tailor Andrew Ramroop stands in front of his work at the Shades of Noir exhibition

SOME OF the most accomplished and highly acclaimed black alumni from the University of Arts London (UAL) have been honoured in a new exhibition.

Professor Andrew Ramroop OBE, who is one of Britain’s most highly respected master tailors and Ngozi Onwurah, the first black female in Britain to direct a major film, are among the names celebrated at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in the Happening To Be display.

Happening To Be, is just one event that forms part of a long-term project called Shades of Noir, founded by lecturer and creative practitioner Aisha Richards in 2009 to improve outcomes for black and minority ethnic staff within arts higher education.

Shades of Noir is a key strand of the programme being implemented by University of the Arts London’s Task Group on Race, Ethnicity and Undergraduate Degree Classification (REDC) to tackle the issue of differential degree attainment between white home students, black and minority ethnic home students and students who pay fees at the overseas rate.

The exhibition’s curator, Kimathi Donkor, also an alumnus of UAL and an established international artist in his own right, promises a “dynamic and thought-provoking display” by the gifted artists.

He said: “The show pays homage to the creative audacity of each of these stars, all of whom push the boundaries of imaginative possibility. Each work creates an encounter that is at once visually striking and educationally inspiring.”

Works by Trevor Robinson CBE, who is best known for the ‘You’ve been tangoed’ soft drinks adverts, which ran during the nineties and now own advertising agency and production company Quiet Storm will also be shown.

Richards added: “Just as the artists represented in this show have dedicated their lives to excellence in their work, so UAL, as Europe’s leading arts and design education institution, located in the world’s most ethnically diverse metropolis, is committed to providing higher education that thrives on diversity, equality and ambition.”

The Happening To Be exhibition runs from 10 September 2012 to 27 October 2012 at Lethaby Gallery, Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, Granary Building, 1 Granary Square, Kings Cross, London, N1C 4AA. Opening Times: Monday – Friday 10 am – 6 pm; Saturdays 10 am – 4 pm (except – closed on 15 and 29 September).

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