Our artistic programme provides a platform for participation, exchange and dialogue for artists, our partners and diverse audiences. Our exhibitions and artist led projects provide a framework for events which bring together individuals and organisations inside and outside of the arts to engage in debate and creative practice. Our work is particularly focused on issues of social inclusion and diversity and seeks to engage with global issues while being rooted in the history of our locality.

Music & Spirituality

Christopher Hanson, May 2018

198 Contemporary Arts and Learning is delighted to present Music and Spirituality, the first solo exhibition by figurative and portrait painter Christopher Hanson. The exhibition showcases a collection of recent paintings which draw on themes of Orisha practice and the role of music, in immersive spiritual experience.

Do You Know Your Middle?

Joy Miessi, 6 – 28 July 2018
Private view 6 July 2018

Do You Know Your Middle? is Joy Miessi’s first solo exhibition of 2018, featuring new mixed media works by the artist. The title references a phrase repeated by the artist’s mother from a young age, as she would part and braid Miessi’s hair. Archiving routines and cultural practices such as these through the pieces, Miessi’s work exists to preserve memories from formative years. Each piece documents and retells moments, creating a permanence to past experiences from Miessi’s life.

Joy Miessi is an artist based in London. Joy translates moments, conversations, feelings and intimate thoughts into visual pieces for reflection. Inspired by shop fronts in Kinshasa to punk posters in Camden, Joy Miessi takes inspiration from everyday life. Sociopolitical themes are reoccurring in Joy’s present work and are translated through abstract shapes, figures and writing.

An Introduction into Orisha Practice

Kesheniwa Aghaji, 31st May: 6-9pm

Kesheniwa Aghaji works towards enabling a better and greater connection between African Descendants and the Divine African Spirit, their Ancestors, and the energies and vibrations beyond. Kesheni is an artist of African Classical Art in the form of spontaneous illuminated paintings. She conducts themed ceremonies, and the rite of Unfettering.

Kesheni is a child of Africa and her Diaspora; and in “An Introduction to Orisha Practice” she is highlighting her reclamation of her Ifa heritage, presenting aspects of the Yoruba Divine Presence ‘Olodumare’ and a number of the Deities in the Ifa pantheon. Kesheni will carry out a libation to Esu. Participants are invited to join the offering by bringing sweets, candies (not chocolate), have a theme to bring to Esu, along with either a £1 or £2 coin.

Decolonise Fest Exhibition: Punx of Colour

15-22 June 2018

Decolonise Fest is a collective of DIY Diaspora Punx that organise an annual festival including music, art & workshops by and for punx of colour. They define Diaspora Punx as people who are descended (through one or both parents) from the original inhabitants of Africa, Caribbean, Asia, Middle East, the Americas, Australasia, and the islands of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Ocean. The intent behind Decolonise Fest is to celebrate all the brilliant diaspora punx that are creating right now, acknowledge our elders and the doors they opened for us, and make room for more punx of colour to take centre stage and make noise.

This exhibition showcases a selection of interdisciplinary artists of colour portraying their punk ethos. Their work is created in a state of hybridity, between their geographical Western location and their ancestral identity.

From portrait photography, to altars, to video work, the exhibitions aims to showcase the unique positionality of Punx of Colour, with the goal to highlight and celebrate those identities that have been and are being hidden, censored and oppressed.

Programme Dates:

Decolonise Fest Opening Night
Friday 22/6 7-10:30pm

Performances by:
Zine Readings: 7:30 – 7:45
Short Film Screenings: 8:15 – 8:45
Lorraine James – Electronic artist and producer – 9:10 – 9:30
Hannah Catherine Jones – 9:45 – 10:15

Potluck / Potlatch with food by Decolonise Fest members – donations welcome.