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Unmasked Women : An Exhibition About Black Female Experience of Mental Health in Britain

By Features Desk

Friday, August 26, 2016.

Unmasked Women is an exhibition exploring the Black British female experience of mental health through the creative arts.

The exhibition takes place from September 2-4, in The Trunk space at The Artworks Elephant, in London.

The stigma upon mental health specifically within Black Britain has become intrusively more unreceptive and evidently incredibly exclusive. There is a tendency to disregard issues we do not understand and this is due to lack of knowledge and continued conversation. Many people within Black British communities are afraid to discuss this topic either within themselves or other people.

In order to spark this much-needed conversation about mental health, the exhibition aims to creatively document and showcase the work of several Black female artists, whilst creating a safe and open platform of further discussions.

The curator and founder of Unmasked Women Nicole Crentsil  argues that there is a need for our society to create safe spaces that allow people to share their thoughts in an environment that is inclusive and receptive. 

“Mental health must be treated the same way as any other health issue," she says. “We need to normalise mental health in a manner that allows people to know that 'It's okay, not to be okay' The continued diminishment of this conversation is what suppresses the fight to move forward. By creatively documenting and showcasing this conversation, not only are we expressing the importance of it, but we are doing so in a manner that is not finite.”

Nicole Crentsil

Unmasked Women will be hosted by Bolanie Tajudeen, the founder of Black Blossoms; a platform that highlights the voices of Black Women, by curating regular events which Black women are the centre of the conversation.

As part of the exhibition, Erin Corrian- Alexis, a 22- year old painter will explore how we profile mental health in this country. Ms Corrian- Alexis will challenge the notion of vulnerability and strength among Black British women.

London based artist Mica will produce carefully detailed paper cuts as an exploration of the female body that will pay homage to the Black female figure. In her work, Ms Mica often combines expressive words to evoke strong universal messages.

Work by Mica

Other highlights of the exhibition will include music by Kemi Ade and Kamilla Rose, in addition to three live poetry performances from Sarah Welsh, Michelle Tiwo and Tania Nwachukwu.

London-based mixed-media artist Azarra Amoy, will be constructing a live mural during the opening night of the exhibition.

Unmasked Women and CoolTan Arts have also teamed up with Black British Girlhood; a project that connects and showcases Black British girls and young women in the arts and other creative expressions. Black British Girlhood will be working alongside CoolTan Art’s Women Make Art group for an exciting magazine- making workshop focused on Black British Women and mental health.

On Saturday, September 3, curator and founder of Unmasked Women Nicole Crentsil, will chair a carefully selected panel. Panellists have been invited to further discuss how we tackle the stigma upon Black mental health and how we continue such conversations within our own communities. Panellists include;Gal-dem, Tobi Oredein, Dawn Estefan, Black British Girlhood, Recovr, Young Minds, Black Blossoms and Shades of Noir.

Hayley Mulenda an 18 -year old award-winning motivational speaker and Entrepreneur will be giving a testimony and motivational talk on Sunday, September 4. On the same day, there will be a feature length independent documentary The Remani Love Project,  which explores the concept of self-love, personal growth and identity.

Organisers say proceeds from this exhibition will go towards supporting the artists involved in this project.

Place of event:  The Trunk space at The Artworks Elephant

Dates: Friday 2nd September - Sunday 4th September

For more information about Unmasked Women please visit www.un-masked.com

Book tickets here: www.unmaskedwomen.eventbrite.co.uk

Unmasked Women : An Exhibition About Black Female Experience of Mental Health in Britain

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