The Black Blossoms artists’ group was established in 2015 by Bolanle Tajudeen. The original aim still holds true today: to support and highlight black women artists through talks, panels and exhibitions while collating a database of black artists on Instagram.

Elspeth Walker |  Ed Cristina Brooks  | 6 November 2020

Since then, Bolanle has not shied away from the internet, but used it to deliver talks, and, just this year, to create the Black Blossoms School of Art and Culture which seeks to decolonise, deconstruct and democratise the art world by shaking up its educational system. 

The courses offered include an exploration of digital art, including short courses beginning this week on topics such as Computational Art 101. The term “computational” refers to the use of computers, but it can be expanded to include artwork that is created using digital technology. The course — run by the artists and associate lecturer at University of the Arts London Alex Fefegha — looks at how new media and digital can influence one another. The course looks to expand knowledge on new art forms ranging from installation art to websites, while upholding the aims of the school: to expand thought around art in a way that will decolonise and disrupt Euro-centric art and education. 

Artwork; “She Summons an Army” untitled 4, 2018, Phoebe Boswell (@phoebe.boswell) in 2018 @contemporaryand wrote about the series of drawings stating “ She Summons an Army” references two important themes in Boswell’s oeuvre: the artist’s constant search for ‘ home’ as well as her ongoing salute to women who use their bodies in protest when they are not permitted to use their voices.” © Courtesy of the artist.

Investigating black digital art in this way is something Bolanle Tajudeen has achieved before. Not only in the unveiling of the Black Blossoms School of Art and Culture, but also in the group’s social media account and Bolanle’s other projects such as the Hammersmith BID digital exhibition, which ran during October. 

The exhibition Bolanie curated, entitled What Does Black Art Mean to You? was located in Lyric Square in London. Within the square, a large screen showcased the works of black artists to highlight how “black artistic and creative culture is embedded in the fabric of British society”.  With works from the photographer Sadé Elufowoju to the spoken word performer Tanaka Fuego, the exhibition featured a range of black creatives, who shared their thoughts and appreciation of black art. The use of the digital not only allowed a variety of artforms to be displayed, but also allowed the exhibition to be displayed outside, furthering her school’s aim of  increasing the accessibility of the artwork. 

@azarraamoy for being commissioned by MTV  © Courtesy of the artist.

Not only exploring digital and new media art forms in their new education programme, but also through expanding online discussions and access to black artists and their work, Black Blossoms group showcases how digital art can now be used to explore a more diverse art, past and present. 

If you missed out this time on the course, make sure to follow Black Blossoms online to keep up to date and informed with all their future work and programmes.

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