Black Tudors exhibition: Meet the Artists

Black Tudors exhibition: Meet the Artists

People of African origin and descent have been part of the British story for a long time.

Black Tudors: New Narratives is an exhibition exploring people of African origin who lived in England during the Tudor Era. It has been created in collaboration with young, local artists of Black Heritage. They are: 

Annie Pearson, Nompumelelo Ncube, Jade Eynon, and Nina-Simone Brown.


Nina-Simone Brown has depicted Jacques Francis, who was a salvage diver. 

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Nina is an artist living in the West Midlands, she studied ancient history and archaeology at university. Art and history are her greatest passions in life and her love for them began in childhood.

Nina is passionate about inclusion, especially in the heritage sector. Her belief is that there is space for everyone, and everyone deserves to have their stories told. Sharing histories and cultures unites humanity and we can learn a lot from each other’s similarities and differences.

Typically, Nina’s art consists of natural forms, colour, pattern, and abstraction. She loves to experiment with new techniques and mediums, and create art which makes her happy.


Annie Pearson has depicted Cattelena of Almondsbury, an independent single woman. 

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Annie is a poet, artist and all round creative from South Birmingham. She uses paint, pastel, print, pens and pencils to produce pretty pictures for personal pleasure and professional endeavour. Her poetry has featured in magazines, poetry competitions and her own selection of songs and raps. Her proudest moment as an artist/brummie was working with UB40 to promote their most recent album through art.


Jade Eynon has depicted Mary Fillis, the Moroccan convert. 

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Jade is a student painter from Bromsgrove, studying fine art at Newcastle University. Her maternal grandparents were both from Jamaica and Her mother spent part of her childhood growing up there. Jade works with charcoal and oil paint and has experimented on large scale canvas. However, she prefer to work on a smaller canvas as she wants the viewer to come nearer to inspect what is happening closely. Jade’s art revolves around capturing a glance into everyday spaces that surround her using quick marks to create an impression of what a place feels like, rather than a direct copy of the location. Jade enjoys highlighting everyday environments that wouldn’t ordinarily cross our minds as it sparks the viewer’s curiosity. Jade is really interested in the marks she makes, experimenting with different techniques used throughout history.


Nompumelelo Ncube has depicted Reasonable Blackman, a silk weaver. 

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Nom is a photojournalist and public historian utterly obsessed with things concerning identity, culture and dress. Nom loves capturing stories that get us thinking about who we are, where we come from and why we are here. Nom believes that travelling to the past is fundamental in understanding our present, so part of her practice is infusing history to reimagine a better future or humanise identities that have undergone subjugation. Nom lives to create work that promotes a healthy self image, hence her love for portraiture and fashion photography. Her specialism is in representation because my work begins at home.

The intersectionalities in Nom's identity has taught her the importance in continuing to diversify the lenses in which we view marginalised communities. Nom's mission is to build bridges across the Black diaspora for us to exchange ideas on heritage, culture and Blackness. 


Also joining the project is poet, Amanda Hemmings

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Amanda Hemmings has written a piece especially for the exhibition, in celebration of Black Tudors.
 
Amanda has used the artform of poetry to support the wellbeing of children, young people and adults. This has largely consisted of collaborating with various organisations including schools, libraries, art centres and healthcare services.
 
In recent years this has encompassed working with local NHS Trusts, whereby she has been commissioned to write and perform poetry that raises awareness of services and campaigns; supporting the wellbeing of patients, visitors and staff. Some of this work includes the poem- ‘Reach Out’; written as part of a mental health campaign, which was created into A2 posters that are currently displayed in hospitals throughout the West Midlands. It further includes ‘Grateful’; a poem written to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the NHS.
 
The poetry workshops she provides for children and young people have helped to support wellbeing alongside developing literacy skills. She has created workshops and exhibitions that have helped to raise awareness of the need for diversity in education. The poem ‘1954’ has been used by community sectors to help towards learning the history of the Windrush generation.
 
Additionally, she has created a series of tribute poems in honour of her mother; ‘This One’s for You Mum’ is featured in an anthology and displayed by cancer charities, including Birmingham Hospice.
 

Black Tudors: New Narratives is exhibited at Selly Manor Museum Friday 26th January to Friday 22nd March 2024. 
 
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