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Jamaican artist launches empowering art exhibition

PICTURERD: Artist Jackson Shuri in front of one of her many pieces on show at the Mary Seacole Centre, Clapham Library

A NEW art exhibition featuring the work of Jamaican-born artist, Jackson Shuri, has opened in London and will feature a versatile collection covering a range of topics including cultural Identity, body image, love and relationships, politics to other issues concerning women.

Entitled 16:32, the exhibition will be part of the arts in public spaces tour at the Clapham Library, south London, and will run from November to January 2019.

In addition to its cultural theme, Shuri’s work will also include sexual and gender inclusivity, along with the exploration of iconic symbols which are all reoccurring themes in her artistic practice.

Shuri spent her formative years in Jamaica, moving from one orphanage to another, but at the age of 16 left the island to start her life anew with her adopted mother in the United States. She is a graduate of the Long Island University, in Long Island New York class of 2011.

16:32 covers the stories of a 16-year journey of a dark skinned immigrant woman transitioning from girl-hood to womanhood living and working in foreign a land. Jackson, now 32, creates works of varying sizes hues and textures and uses her work to evoke, empower and educate.

Jackson Shuri’s exhibition is part of the arts in public spaces tour at the Clapham Library

Reflecting on her work Shuri says it is art that keeps her grounded. “Art is that which keeps me focused and happy. Creativity has enabled me to weather life’s challenges. I am particularly passionate about highlighting the therapeutic and healing benefits of art”, she says.

Growing up In Jamaica, Shuri was a victim of child abuse brought about as a result of poverty. Not because she wasn’t loved, but because of poverty and abandonment. It didn’t help that she was also a very stubborn and adventurous child for her young mother still growing and facing her own life’s challenges solo.

She is the first born to a mother who had her during her teen years. However, family pride took over and Shuri’s mom became the black sheep of the family.

She was abandoned in Jamaica at the age of 15, left to raise Shuri on her own without the support of family. Years spent in the orphanages pushed Shuri in the direction of painting, drawing and writing as this was her form of escape.

Shuri would paint and write how her life should be and what the perfect family looked like. He passions for the arts grew from these early childhood experiences and now her work in 16.32 shows that finding a passion impacts life and direction.

It reminds us that victimhood is not an option, and strength is your only option. Shuri shares her story to evoke empower and educate.

The exhibition at the Mary Seacole Centre, 91 Clapham High Street, London SW4 7DB runs until January 2019.

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