Stuart Hall Library
Artist Keith Piper with speakers Errol Lloyd, Michael McMillan and Makeda Coaston
Audio recordings of the talks are available at the bottom of this page
No Colour Bar: Black British Art in Action 1960-1990 is a landmark exhibition focusing on the role of Eric and Jessica Huntley, radical activists and founders of the Bogle’ L’Ouverture publishing house and bookshop. The Huntleys played a vital role in promoting black culture and visual arts, from their support for the Caribbean Arts Movement in the 60s and 70s, through to the later influence of their activism on the politicised work of the Black Arts Movement. No Colour Bar features artwork from twenty Black British artists who were producing work between the 1960s and the 1990’s including Sonia Boyce, Aubrey Williams, Eddie Chambers, Sokari Douglas-Camp, Frank Bowling and Chila Kumari Burman.
As well as the artworks, the exhibition draws on the Huntley archive (now at the London Metropolitan Archives) to tell the story of their lives and work, including migration from Guyana, community organisation, suffering and responding to racist attacks and their central place in a network of artists, poets, writers and musicians. The centrepiece of the exhibition is a recreation of the Bogle L’Ouverture Bookshop (renamed the Walter Rodney Bookshop after the assassination of the historian and activist). A selection of films, recordings, texts and an interactive display give a glimpse into the frenetic creative activity at the shop.
Join curators Makeda Coaston and Dr Michael McMillan and artist Errol Lloyd to hear about the research behind the exhibition and the extraordinary contribution the Huntleys and the artists around them made to the cultural life of the country. Makeda Coaston is the Co-Curator for the ‘No Colour Bar’ exhibition, along with Katty Pearce from the Guildhall Art Gallery. Michael McMillian is the Curator for the Walter Rodney Bookshop installation, which explores the bookshop as a significant site for political and creative engagement and activism. Errol Lloyd was instrumental in bringing the exhibition about and his work features in the show.
Dr. Michael McMillan is a writer, dramatist, artist/curator whose exhibitions include The West Indian Front Room (2005) and Origins of the Afro Comb (2013). He is an Associate Lecturer in Cultural & Historical Studies as well as Associate Researcher RAS project at University of the Arts London. He has current exhibitions at Peckham Platform and New Art Exchange.
Makeda Coaston is a cultural strategist, journalist and presenter who focuses on African diaspora culture and heritage. Her publications include Delivering Shared Heritage (2005) and Embedding Shared Heritage (2009) for the London Mayor’s Commission. Her roles have included Senior Cultural Strategy Officer, Greater London Authority and Chief Executive for the Minorities Arts Advisory Service.
Errol Lloyd is an artist, art critic, playwright and children’s novelist. After migrant to London from Jamaica in 1963 he was part of the Caribbean Artists Movement which made an immense contribution to the culture of the UK. Lloyd worked closely with the Huntleys and other Black British publishers producing cover designs based on his paintings. He produced portrait busts of such figures as John La Rose and C.L.R. James. In the 1980s he was a member of the Minorities’ Arts Advisory Service and was on the editorial board of their publication Artrage, the inter-cultural arts magazine.
The exhibition No Colour Bar: Black British Art in Action 1960-1990, made possible through generous grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), is a collaboration between the Friends of the Huntley Archives at the LMA (FHALMA), the Guildhall Art Gallery and the London Metropolitan Archives (LMA) and supported by the City of London.