Focal Point Gallery is pleased to announce the first major solo exhibition by British African-Caribbean artist, producer and activist Elsa James.
Her most ambitious work to date, ‘Othered in a region that has been historically Othered’ premieres in her home of Southend and is part of her ongoing enquiry into what it means to be black in Essex. The exhibition includes a major three-part film installation and original sound works, alongside text and new series of prints. These are centred around James’ lived experience, combined with the untold stories of past and current residents of the county and extensive historical research.
This exhibition will open with a special opening event on Saturday 25 June from 6.00pm to 8.00pm.
James’s recent works investigate recovery, recollection, and the archives, to examine ideas surrounding regionality of race and black subjectivity. Earlier films Forgotten Black Essex (2018) and Black Girl Essex (2019) forged new understandings of blackness viewed through a contemporary Essex lens by exploring little known histories and current accounts of residents in England’s most misunderstood county. The historical oppression that James’ research reveals is emblematic of her own experience and provides the basis of an ambitious new film work that spans vast timelines, eventually propelling viewers to a radical future vision of Essex.