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Crossing the Waters

Group show at City Gallery Leicester, Cartwright Hall. 2007
Date: 1 September, 2007 until 2 December, 2007
Curator: Alchemy
Organiser: Cartwright Hall, Bradford

Crossing the Waters (1 September - 2 December 2007), was one of a number of exhibitions that took place throughout 2007 as part of Freedom & Culture 2007: The Bicentenary of the Parliamentary Abolition of the Slave Trade. The Foreword to the Crossing the Waters catalogue, by Mark Suggitt, Head of Museums, Galleries & Heritage at Bradford Museums Galleries & Heritage, included references to how the exhibition had come about. Wrote Suggitt, “An interesting fact about Crossing the Waters is that almost all of the works are drawn from the permanent collections of Bradford Museums, Galleries and Heritage. The works were acquired, it must be stressed, because of the artists’ positioning within contemporary British art. However, the Bicentenary provided an intellectual and historical rationale for showing these works as a group, albeit a very diverse one.”

Earlier in his Foreword, Suggitt had stated, “Crossing the Waters makes a significant contribution to Freedom and Culture, a dynamic, year-long, nationwide programme that marks the bicentenary of the Parliamentary Abolition of the Slave Trade in the British Empire. Freedom and Culture has been conceived and directed by Professor Lola Young of Cultural Brokers and Dr Nima Poovaya-Smith of Alchemy.”

In her essay, Poovaya-Smith discusses the artists in the exhibition, beginning with an appraisal of Shonibare’s The Wanderer. subsequently, she suggests that, “Crossing the Waters is also a metaphor that operates in an historical and contemporary context, literally and symbolically, within real geographic locations as well as virtual spaces and, most importantly, within constructs of the artist’s creative imagination. It moves from Africa and the Caribbean to the West and the Americas and back again.”

Crossing the Waters was first exhibited at Cartwright Hall, before touring to the City Gallery, Leicester, 19 January - 1 March 2008. The exhibition featured work by Sonia Boyce, Uzo Egonu, Tam Joseph, Isaac Julien, Glenn Ligon, Hew Locke, Chris Ofili, Keith Piper, Ingrid Pollard, Yinka Shonibare, Carrie Mae Weems, and Aubrey Williams. All but two of the artists were of British background; Ligon and Weems were African-American practitioners.

Related items

click to show details of Crossing the Waters

»  Crossing the Waters

Catalogue relating to an exhibition, 2007

click to show details of Ingrid Pollard | Landscape Trauma 2006 - postcard

»  Ingrid Pollard | Landscape Trauma 2006 - postcard

Postcard relating to an exhibition, 2007

click to show details of Yinka Shonibare, The Wanderer, 2006-07 (detail) - postcard

»  Yinka Shonibare, The Wanderer, 2006-07 (detail) - postcard

Postcard relating to a publication, 2007

People in this exhibition + view all 13

»  Sonia Boyce MBE

Born, 1962 in London, England

»  Uzo Egonu

Born, 1931 in Onitsha, Nigeria. Died, 1996

»  Tam Joseph

Born, 1947 in Dominica

»  Isaac Julien

Born, 1960 in London, England

»  Glenn Ligon

Born, 1960 in New York

Exhibition venues

»  Cartwright Hall

Bradford, United Kingdom

»  City Gallery Leicester

Leicester, United Kingdom