On 17 June 2016, New Art Exchange and the Centre for Research in Race and Rights (C3R) at the University of Nottingham unveiled Nottingham's first black history mural, on the wall beside New Art Exchange.
How did the project come about?
New Art Exchange and the Centre for Research in Race and Rights (C3R) at the University of Nottingham have worked in partnership with the local community to create the "Pathways" mural.
Who did we work with?
Between April and June 2016 , Maxine Davis, Youth Forum Manager, and eight young people (aged 15 to 22) from NG7 Voices Youth Forum/Hyson Green Youth Club worked in collaboration with artists Tim Weeden and Andrew Wright to design the mural.
During the project young people were introduced to local heroes from the black community and their contributions by guest speakers Lisa Robinson from Bright Ideas and Black Lives Matter Nottingham; Panya Banjoko and Ioney Smallhorne from Nottingham Black Archives; Zoe Trodd, Hannah Jeffery and Hannah-Rose Murray from C3R.
Who are the figures in the mural?
George Africanus is a Nottingham legend. A former slave, he was one of the first black entrepreneurs of the 18th century
Winston Murphy is a war hero who served in the merchant navy between 1940 to1945.
Louise Garvey is a nurse has promoted equality in the health service since the 1960s. She wrote the book Nursing Lives of Black People in Nottingham.
The Black Lives Matter child honours the fact that Nottingham is home to Europe's first official Black Lives Matter group, and adapts a famous artwork by the Black Panther Emory Douglas, who visited Nottingham and worked with the community in 2011.
Where do the patterns and symbols come from?
The young people were encouraged to bring in any images that might inspire their design and were particularly interested in African print designs. One of the young people drew a series of links and chains becoming pathways to the future. They were also introduced to Adinkra symbols from West Africa. Adinkra are visual symbols and objects that have different meanings, such as traditional wisdom, aspects of life or the environment.
The young people chose the following Adinkra symbols for the mural and here are the distinct meanings behind each one:
Growth and Knowledge
To fear none but the creator
The mural project will be featured at the Utopia Fair at Somerset House, London, from the 24th to 26th June 2016, in an exhibit curated by Zoe Trodd, Katie Donington, Hannah Jeffery and Rebecca Nelson.
The "Pathways" Mural has been funded by a grant from the AHRC Connected Communities Programme
Co-Director – Professor Zoe Trodd
Co-Director – Katie Donington
Co-Director – Hannah Jeffery
Chief Executive of New Art Exchange & Executive Producer – Skinder Hundal
Freelance Community Engagement Consultant/Project Manager – Bo Olawoye
Director of Programmes at New Art Exchange – Melanie Kidd
Documentary film-maker – Ioney Smallhorne