Overtones at Tate Exchange

Role: Project Collaborator

Overtones is a collaborative resource created with visual artist Heather Agyepong in response to her series of photographic works Yaa (2017) which raised a number of questions in relation to ownership, visibility and the value of culture.

The resource provides a starting point for conversations about culture and its role in society. It examines the intersections of race and class through a series of thoughtful questions to enable a process of self-reflection for those who encounter it. Four key themes were explored; cultural production/consumption, (in)visibility, mental health and privilege.

The body of work displayed in But We Are Still Here was commissioned by Tate Schools and Teachers in collaboration with their Young Peopleโ€™s Programme. The series of photographs shows Agyepong re-imagined as Ghanaian Ashanti Warrior Yaa Asantewaa. Within the images she is seen to take ownership of the gallery space with images show her in front of Chris Ofiliโ€™s No Woman, No Cry (1998) located at Tate Britain as well as in The Starr Cinema and The Tanks at Tate Modern.

For the launch I chaired the in conversation with Heather in the Tate Exchange space located on level 5 in The Blavatanik building, Tate Modern. The evening consisted of time for visitors to browse and spend time with the works moving through the space. This was then followed by an in-depth conversation about the process of making the artworks, central themes explored in the works as well as her experiences and response to black bodies in art spaces, the exploitation of black pain and expectations of the production of work.