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Women of African Diaspora explored in stunning exhibition

DIVERSITY: A portrait from Toby Laurent Belson's exhibition 'Women of Colour'

WEST LONDON artist Toby Laurent Belson has launched an exhibition at Shepherds Bush Library called 'Women of Colour'.

The exhibition, which runs until December 18, uses portraits of women of African diaspora and showcases the beauty of women of colour worldwide.

"I consider myself a community artist, in that my art is always made to say something about my community or raise an issue for my community or work with my community. And so it means a lot to display my work in spaces that are readily accessible to my community. Shepherds Bush Library is doing a great thing by offering artists this space. I hope to find more libraries who think like this."

Laurent Belson has been working in his community for the past decade, creating a wide range of outcomes from murals and public art installations to school library interiors and bridge renovations. He supports a number of local community campaigns with his banner and placard making and flier designs.

"It is a spiritual as well as cerebral creative experience, to find the subject and find the material, then bring the two together into something recognisable. This is an ongoing series, so I look forward to adding to it in the next few months with some further portraits of people of the African diaspora, in particular delving into my own local London community."

"Like life, a lot of discovery comes through coincidence, finding things that fit the superficial image and the person themselves" says Laurent Belson. "And if you look hard enough, there is so much in each portrait that a lot of meaning is down to the individual viewer. The fact that we don't all see the same things is fascinating. And in that way, collage is an apt analogy for the complexity of life."

Women of Colour – An Exhibition of Samplism by Toby Laurent Belson runs until Sunday 18th December at Shepherd Bush Library, 6 Wood Lane, London W12 7BF

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