Born in 1961 in Birmingham, UK, Donald Rodney first achieved visibility as part of The Blk Art Group in the early 1980s. During that decade, he went on to become a key figure within the broad alliance of artists, which came to be known as The Black Art Movement.
In the following years, his wide-ranging practice came to defy simple categorisation both thematically, and through its innovative approach to materials and technical processes. At the moment of his untimely death in 1998 from complications arising from sickle cell anaemia, Rodney had left a multifaceted and influential body of work.
This exhibition brings together a number of Rodney’s seminal works dating from the late 1980s to his final solo exhibition in 1997, 9 Night in Eldorado. Here, for the first time in a decade, the multiple themes explored through the artist’s work are given space to interact. It is out of this interaction that a range of increasingly complex and nuanced readings of the work of Donald Rodney continues to emerge.
A new work by his close friend, the filmmaker John Akomfrah, created in memoriam to Rodney, brings the exhibition full circle. The Genome Chronicles references previously unseen Super 8 footage taken by Rodney and is interlaced with Akomfrah’s personal film archive.