An interview with Professor Eddie Chambers – re. his new book, ‘Black Artists in British Art: A History from 1950 to the Present’ (IB Tauris, 2014)

On 2nd July I had the privilege of interviewing the artist, curator and art historian Professor Eddie Chambers while he was here in the UK to launch and promote his new book, Black Artists in British Art: A History from 1950 to the Present (IB Tauris, 2014).

Photo by Stuart Whipps; Courtesy of the artist and Ikon.
Photograph of the installation African Icons (1987) by Eddie Chambers. Installation image, 2014. As Exciting As We Can Make It: Ikon in the 1980s. Photo: Stuart Whipps; Courtesy of the artist and Ikon.

We met at the Ikon Gallery in Birmingham, where his installation piece African Icons (1987) was on display as part of a retrospective of works by UK contemporary artists – titled, As Exciting as We Can Make it: Ikon in the 1980s (2 July — 31 August 2014).

The focus of our conversation was an exploration and critical appraisal of the extent to which black British artists have experienced marginalisation and exclusion as regards their place within the nation’s contemporary visual arts canon, using Eddie Chambers’ own experiences of creating and exhibiting work since the early 1980s as a point of departure.

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