Leeds, Bradford And Huddersfield Celebrate Black History Month 2005

by 24 Hour Museum/Dig Yorkshire | 21 October 2005
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An abstract painting of bright colours

Oluseyi Ogunjobi exhibition at Huddersfield Art Gallery. Image courtesy: Dig Yorkshire.

Black History Month 2005 is well under way in Yorkshire. A lively programme of exhibitions, workshops and performances are taking place throughout October 2005 and beyond.

In Bradford, the Crossing Continents exhibition is now on display at the Bolling Hall until March 31 2006. This exhibition takes a look at people and collections of artefacts of African origin in England, pre-1900s. It features objects and images from the Bradford collection.

Meanwhile, at Bradford’s Cartwright Hall, until October 31 2005, an exhibition called Black British Style looks at the different fashions over the decades.

From Sunday dressing to street wear, celebrity to Rasta, Black British Style looks at fashion and styling across all aspects of black life and culture over the past 50 years.

a black and white poster for the black british style exhibition showing a girl blowing bubble gum

Black British Style looks at fashions over the decades. Image courtesy: Dig Yorkshire.

The exhibition explores clothes and the bodies that wear them, looking at not only what is worn but how.

Black people aren’t exclusively the ones to turn heads on the street but it is the attention to detail in the art of dressing that makes these styles so significant.

Historical roots, cultural difference, a pleasure in femininity, masculinity or sexuality, and the unrestrained desire for the ingenuity of designer clothes have all influenced the way black people in Britain dress.

detail of green grafitti

The exhibition also looks at art, photography and film. Image courtesy: Dig Yorkshire.

This exhibition is the first of its kind in the UK and highlights the variety of lifestyles that co-exist in black culture, focusing on dress but also incorporating music, photography and film.

New Language by Balraj Khanna is also on display at the Cartwright Hall, until November 27 2005.

Known for his highly atmospheric paintings in which dream-like shapes inhabit a world uniquely their own, Khanna has extended his repertoire and given his new work - made specially for this exhibition - a three dimensional look.

Arranged on different levels, these sculptural forms are inter-related and can be put back together as in a big jigsaw puzzle. Painted all-white or in brilliant colours, they leap to life dramatically when lit, creating a new personal language.

a colour poster for the black british style exhibition showing a woman with very large sunglasses and a white string vest

The Black British Style exhibition is the first of its kind in the UK. Image courtesy: Dig Yorkshire.

In Nearby Huddersfield and Leeds, the program of events has continued. Huddersfield Library & Art Gallery is exhibiting paintings and decorative textiles by Leeds-based Nigerian-born artist, Oluseyi Ogunjobi – on display until November 5 2005.

And visitors to Leeds Central Library have been taking part in workshops and learning sessions on accessing the Moving Here website, submitting stories and pictures recording personal experiences of moving and living in the UK.

The Moving Here website contains a whopping 150,000 items on the subject of migration to England.

More information about these events and many more can be found on www.digyorkshire.com

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