Womxn of Colour Art Award 2020-2021 Exhibition: Altitude

The Morning Has Gold In Its Mouth, Maybelle Peters


Friday 17th December 2021 – Saturday 26th February 2022 at 198 Contemporary Arts & Learning, 198 Railton Road, SE24 0JT  (Free)

 198 Contemporary Art & Learning is delighted to announce  the 2020-2021 Womxn of Colour Art Award Exhibition: Altitude.


Altitude features the work of WoCAA winner Maybelle Peters as well as 7 WoCAA artist finalists, currently working in the UK. Some are early career practitioners just starting to find their voice whilst others have established studio practices.

The WoCAA finalists are: Charmaine Watkiss, Cherelle Sappleton, Mani Kambo, Marcia Michael, Rebekah Ubuntu, Sofia Niazi and Sola Olulode. 

The bi-annual Womxn of Colour Art Award recognizes the inequities and additional barriers that Womxn of Colour often face in their practice as visual artists. Altitude aims to explore the precarious nature of artmaking if you are a womxn of colour.

This poignant, immersive and timely show celebrates the fact that these artists are continuing to make art. As such, Altitude is holding the space for artists to question audiences as well as facilitate the emergence of new aesthetic narratives for womxn of colour.


Curator Marlene Smith has selected an exciting range of new and recent art works including drawing, print, photography, textiles, sound, film and performance.


Award winner Maybelle Peters presents a unique installation piece specifically created for the show, The Morning Has Gold In Its Mouth (2020). In this work, the artist examines the shape of black bodies in space, looking at the possibility of creating temporal and spatial corporeality as moving image sequences based on the relationship between the fruits of labour and leisurely pursuits.


The Return (2018) is a large pencil and handmade indigo watercolour on paper drawing made by finalist Charmaine Watkiss. Her work is concerned with what she calls ‘memory stories’. Drawing is central to her practice as she navigates between the archaeological, the cosmological and the historical spaces.


Finalist Cherelle Sappleton presents 3 large scale mix media collages entitled Fit, We and Machine, Machine (2021). Her work responds to issues of representation, agency and the materiality of photographs via photomontage, collage, moving image and photography.


Finalist Mani Kambo presents a meaningful composition of 9 small prints and embroidered pieces: Ceremony, The Bridge, Gaze, Gateway , Celestial, Eclipse, Ascend, Weaving a Path and Portal (2021). Influenced by her upbringing in a Sikh household filled with superstition, prayer and religious ceremony, her practice focuses on objects, routines and rituals distilled both from the everyday and mythology.


Finalist Marcia Michael’s practice challenges the presence of the Black subject within the auspices of the canonical family archive and album. The Mothers (Fantasm) (2020/2021) is a powerful series of 12 pastel drawings on paper that depicts the artist’s personal chimerical meeting with her spiritual ancestral mothers.


Finalist Rebekah Ubuntu presents Ecologies of Belonging (a Meditation in Progress) (2021), a work commissioned by the organisation CRATE for the exhibition ‘Marine Ecologies’ (2021). This work meditates on marine and matrilineal ecologies, reciprocity, interdependence, remembering and healing.


Finalist Sofia Niazi presents The Pond land (2020/2021), a large colourful handmade rug that sensually evokes her personal introspections as well intimate stories of life during the pandemic. She employs various digital, hand drawn and traditional craft techniques. She is currently exploring themes around housing and technology.


Finalist Sola Olulode presents two textural paintings Green Patterned Sheets (2021) and Blue Slumber (2021). Her work creates vibrant utopian scenes of love attempt to transcend crude notions of queer sexuality. She works on canvas, paper and fabric with processes such as natural dyeing, batik, wax resist, oil bar and impasto.