Life Between Islands: Caribbean-British Art 1950s – Now

Wednesday 1 December 2021 – Sunday 3 April 2022

Roshini Kempadoo (2004), Ghosting

Roshini Kempadoo (2004), Ghosting

Life Between Islands [Catalogue Cover] (2021) Tate Publishing

The exhibition is curated by David A Bailey, Artistic Director of the International Curators Forum, and Alex Farquharson, Director of Tate Britain. This landmark exhibition explores the work of artists from the Caribbean who made their home in Britain, alongside other British artists whose work has been influenced and inspired by Caribbean themes and heritage.

Spanning visionary paintings to documentary photography, fashion, film and sculpture, Life Between Islands traces the extraordinary breadth and impact of Caribbean British art, in one setting. This exhibition celebrates how people from the Caribbean have forged new communities and identities in post-war Britain – and in doing so have transformed what British culture and society looks like today. The exhibition begins with artists of the Windrush generation who came to Britain in the 1950s, such as Denis Williams and Aubrey Williams, exploring the Caribbean Artists Movement, an informal group of creatives like Paul Dash and Althea McNish. Works from the Black Art Movement of the 1970s and 80s depicted the social and political struggles faced by second generation members of the Caribbean-British community are also included such as Keith Piper’s photo-collage Go West Young Man 1987 and Ingrid Pollard’s Oceans Apart 1989.The exhibition ends with artists who have emerged more recently, many of whom revisit themes encountered earlier in the show such as Marcia Michael’s multimedia collaboration and Liz Johnson Artur on south London’s Grime music scene. CREAM’s Roshini Kempadoo photographic montages from the series Ghosting (2004) are included to convey the co-existence of the Caribbean and Britain, past and present, through intimate everyday scenes.

Featuring over 40 artists, the exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue and an anthology entitled Liberation Begins in the Imagination: Writings on British Caribbean Art.