Categories: News

SHARON WALTERS Seeing Ourselves,9th May – 4th July, 2024

Sharon Walters: Seeing Ourselves
Solo exhibition at HackelBury Fine Art, London
9th May – 4th July 2024

HackelBury Fine Art, London is pleased to present Sharon Walter’s first London solo exhibition. ‘Seeing Ourselves’ features work from the ongoing series, in which Walters creates intricate hand-assembled collages honouring Black Women – their history, culture and identity.

“My work aims to explore and indulge in the multiplicity of Blackness and the embrace of our non-monolithic experiences.”

Walters explores themes of identity and representation through fragile and detailed paper cut-outs and collages where she creates multi-layered portraits in which she, literally and metaphorically, opens up space. These dimensional portraits provide a portal and empower those who are often excluded and unheard in mainstream Western society. She creates an alternative narrative which reflects the complexity of these women’s stories and experiences.

Letting Go, 2024

The title ‘Seeing Ourselves’ references the book by Frances Borzello which surveyed centuries of self portraits by white Western women artists. In her series ‘Seeing Ourselves’, Walters reclaims space to create a new inclusive way of seeing Black women. Her work is a response to this absence of their own reflections in mainstream Western media, arts and cultural life.

“I started making the work as a reaffirmation to take up space even in spaces where I did not see myself reflected back.”

Walters is an agent of change and notes that her own vulnerability allows her to create this work, motivated by a commitment to create visibility and accessibility for Black women.

“If we don’t see ourselves represented back, it can act as a barrier to not succeeding”

She draws on a myriad of material to create her portraits from magazine clippings to photos taken by herself, and other images donated by women globally and in this way she generates multiple conversations about empowerment, diversity and representation.

About Sharon Walters

Sharon Walters is a London-based artist, educator and project curator. She holds a Fine Art BA (Hons) from Central Saint Martins and has over 20 years experience working with marginalised communities. She regularly collaborates with organisations and communities organising and hosting workshops, talks, podcasts, events and curating projects.

In 2023 , Walters was included in ‘Like Paradise’ at Claridge’s ArtSpace, London, curated by Ekow Eshun and ‘Rites of Passage’ at Gagosian, curated by Péjú Oshin. She won second prize at the Mosaic Art Prize exhibited at Hauser and Wirth. She directed a short film, performed by actor Jyuddah James, using quoted extracts from ‘The Interesting Narrative of the life of Olaudah Equiano,’ displayed in the Black Atlantic exhibition at Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge (2023). This is currently being shown at the UN in New York (23 Feb – 28 March 2024). Previously, Sharon had a solo exhibition at Midlands Arts Centre, Birmingham, England (2022),
and was included in the Black Minds Matter group exhibition at Sophie Tea Art Gallery, London (2020); The Chapel Gallery, London (2019); and Gunnersbury Park Museum, London (2019).

In 2022, she was commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery, London, to create a portrait of race equality campaigners and radical publishers Eric and Jessica Huntley. The piece was exhibited at the Gunnersbury Park Museum, London (2023) before joining the collection at the National Portrait Gallery.

Since 2020, Walters has worked in partnership with the National Maritime Museum to create and host the podcast series ‘Seeing Ourselves’ – alongside a series of live and online events exploring the representation and misrepresentation of the people of African descent in museum collections. She collaborated with historians, artists and prominent cultural thinkers and the project has had a significant impact and led to important change in the institution.

Walters works are in private and public collections including the National Portrait Gallery and the Soho House Art Collection.

About HackelBury

HackelBury was founded twenty-five years ago by Sascha Hackel and Marcus Bury. The gallery is committed to championing artists who push the boundaries of their medium to create meaningful and contemplative work.

Originally renowned for showcasing classic 20th-century photography, the gallery has embraced more conceptual and abstract art over the past 15 years, expanding its stable of artists to include those working in photography, drawing, painting and collage.

Hackelbury Fine Art represents a select group of artist whose work reflects a profound depth of thought and dedication to their craft.


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