In September 2020 at the Babylon Gallery in Ely, Babylon Young Curator, Olu Taiwo proposed the idea of offering artists, who have felt excluded in any way, a platform to share their artworks and stories. He explains: “The ‘I Matter’ exhibition provides an opportunity for artists to share their personal stories of why they matter via their artwork.
Subsequently, a far-reaching open-call in January attracted over 100 artists, 15 of whom were selected to feature in the unique and timely exhibition, I Matter. During its time at Babylon it reached over 788 people in just two weeks. Because of this success, a new version of the exhibition is showing at Peterborough until 28th November and then going off on another leg of the tour to Wells Maltings in Norfolk in March 2022.
Due to the large number of artist submissions at Ely, Olu also decided to host an online exhibition of a wider selection of work by the artists who applied. Currently a further 11 of these artists are now able to be included in an extended exhibition in Peterborough, as well as a signature work by the Curator, Olu Taiwo.
This expanded version of the exhibition is formed of new and existing works created by 27 artists all from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds and responds to the powerful declaration, ‘I Matter’ and its recent complex iterations. The exhibition features work from painters, printmakers, sculptors, animators, filmmakers and photographers.
The fantastic response to the original call-out emphasises the need for more targeted opportunities for artists from ethnic minority backgrounds to have their voices heard. As a young black Curator, I’m looking to continue to help to facilitate this in the future.”
Olu continues: “This exhibition and my time as a Young Curator, helped to build the beginnings of a community of talented artists, and I’ve made friendships that I know will continue well into the future.”
The ‘I Matter’ exhibition runs until 28 November 2021 at the Peterborough Museum and Art Gallery.
Opening times are 10-4pm Tuesday to Saturday and 12-4pm Sundays.
Entry is free.