Artists chosen for project to support Black People and People of Colour

Wednesday 22 February 2023

Image shows We Are Here Scotland Director, Ica Headlam, artists Rudy Kanhye, Helen Love, Helen Noon, and Claire Bruce and Hilary Nicoll from Look Again.
Gray’s creative unit, Look Again and the community interest charity, ‘We Are Here Scotland’ are working together on a new project to support BPoC (Black People and People of Colour) artists in Scotland.

Following an open call, two selected commissions will transform Gray’s School of Art's Look Again Project Space on St. Andrews Street this spring, with art installations, performance and creative participation in the city centre space, running over four consecutive months.

The first project, entitled ‘Composition with red and yellow’,  will be led by curator and environmental arts producer, Rudy Kanhye, whose practice explores themes of identity, history, and popular culture.

Rudy plans to set up a series of participatory events in the project space that audiences can take part in, as well as showing new prints made at Peacock Printmakers. He is interested in how we exchange culture through our different cuisines and through playing games. One element of the exhibition will be a Ping-Pong club.

His work draws inspiration from the late Slovak artist and intellectual, Julius Koller, who set up a sports club in an exhibition space in Bratislava in the seventies, to dissolve boundaries between art and non-artistic activities and to bring the community together.

An opening night will take place on Thursday 2 March from 6pm – 9pm, with members of the public invited to join in a sharing game led by Rudy, that will centre around food and storytelling inspired from his ancestors of Mauritius. The exhibition will open fully on 4 March and run until 26 March, Saturdays and Sundays from 11am -4pm.

Rudy explains more: “I want to encourage members of the public to drop into the Look Again Project Space to play ping pong and to explore the artistic work around them. I’m interested in how the audience relates to and interacts with the work and want to break-down barriers between art and everyday life.

“It is a great opportunity for me to have been selected to lead the Look Again and We Are Here Scotland commission, as I’ll be working with well minded people who care about similar issues. It’s important in that it creates a platform for BPoC and the black community in Scotland and gives creative practitioners the time and space to express themselves. When I was at art school in France, city centre exhibitions inspired me to become an artist, so it’s quite special to me.”


Aberdeen ceramicist and Gray’s School of Art technician, Helen Love, and spoken word artist, Noon Abdelrazig, are an artistic duo called ‘Eldin & Love’, who have been selected to lead the other commission to celebrate Black People and People of Colour. Their collaborative exhibition will run from 7 April and run until 28 May, and will include a live performance at the Look Again Project Space, to highlight the legacies of Aberdeen’s connections to the Caribbean slave trade.

‘Eldin & Love’ will hum a Sudanese lullaby together as part of their performance, which involves both poetry and clay, to draw attention to the significance of the Old Aberdeen landmark, Powis Gate, and the life of a Jamaican born slave, Quasheba and her nine children. They will visualise the story in a live performance by press moulding imagined portraits of the children using clay to create a three-dimensional family tree. Aberdeen school children will also be invited to join art workshops to make their own clay abolitionist medallions.

Spoken word artist Noon Abdelrazig said: “It's such a great honour to once again work as part of the artistic duo Eldin&Love around issues close to our hearts. This includes using art as a form of activism; and to continue working on the themes of our first ever project together, Quasheba. In this project we will be honouring those before us by giving them voice and telling their stories. 

“This BPoC commission is important to me, as I am trying to set an example to younger generations that it’s possible to take part in the art scene and make your voice and Art heard in Scotland.”

We Are Here Scotland X Look Again projects are supported by Aberdeen City Council’s Creative Funding and RGU Art & Heritage Collections Public Art Fund.

Co-Director for Look Again, Sally Reaper, said; “We are really excited to support BPoC artists and designers from across Scotland and are working closely with We Are Here Scotland and Aberdeen City Council, to address the lack of opportunities available to BPoC creatives in Aberdeen. This is an important partnership for the city, and I look forward to seeing the two projects come to life in our Look Again Project Space this spring. I would encourage everyone to come along to see the exhibitions.”

We Are Here Scotland Founder, and Director Ica Headlam, who is an alumni from Look Again’s Creative Accelerator course said: “I'm really pleased that We Are Here Scotland and the Look Again Team are coming together to provide this unique opportunity for Black and People of Colour artists to exhibit their work in the North East of Scotland and can’t wait to work with both Rudy, Noon and Helen to help deliver these unique projects.”

We Are Here Scotland has made a substantial impact supporting the voices of Black and People of Colour artists and creatives across Scotland over the past three years and highlights the need to develop new models of working to support a more diverse creative sector.


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