Companion29 Oct 2022 - 14 Jan 2023Workplace Foundation is pleased to present Companion, the first in an ongoing series of exhibitions inviting curators to look at Workplace Foundation’s continued relationships with artists. Companion explores ways of...
Tayo Adekunle10 Jun - 11 Jul 2021 OnlineWorkplace Foundation is pleased to present the first online solo show of Edinburgh based photographer Tayo Adekunle.
Adekunle uses self-portraiture to expose issues of race, gender and sexuality whilst investigating racial and colonial history. Through re-working historical stereotypes she highlights the fetishisation, sexualisation and western gaze on black female bodies. This exploration runs throughout her series Reclamation of the Exposition and Venus Noire as well as her most recent work Yemoja to create a rich presentation of the colonial perception of the black female body.
Sarah Baartman - a Khoikhoi woman from South Africa named 'Hottentot Venus' who was brought to Europe in 1810 and exhibited in Britain and France - was the catalyst for Adekunle’s exploration into the past and present treatment of the black female body. Through referencing ‘master’ painters in her compositions, Adekunle brings to light whichfemale bodies were depicted and confronts the viewer with this fact.
Adekunle references her Nigerian heritage and draws on personal connections to the fabrics used for sets in each image. The use of contemporary western clothing as well as more traditional Nigerian textiles demonstrates that these perceptions and issues are still very much rooted in the present.
This exhibition is presented online inside a detailed virtual rendering of our first gallery space: Workplace Gallery, 34 Ellison Street, Gateshead, which opened in 2005 within the British Brutalist masterpiece Trinity Court designed by Rodney Gordon for Owen Luder Partnerships, and which was demolished in 2009. The exhibition will be accompanied by an In Conversation and Artist Tour, more information to follow.