image employed: the use of narrative in Black art, Cornerhouse, Manchester, 1987
The Image Employed: the use of narrative in Black art. Curated by Keith Piper and Marlene Smith, whose work was also included in the exhibition. Held at Cornerhouse, Manchester, 13 June - 19 July 1987. Exhibition featured Allan de Souza, Amanda Holiday, Chila Kumari Burman, Claudette Johnson, Donald G Rodney, Eddie Chambers, Jennifer Comrie, Keith Piper, Marlene Smith, [Trevor] Mathison/[Edward] George, Mowbray Odonkor, Simone Alexander, Sonia Boyce, Sutapa Biswas, Tam Joseph, and Zarina Bhimji.
From Eddie Chambers’ statement in The Image Employed: the use of narrative in Black art catalogue (unpaginated):
As a so-called ‘visual artist’, I constantly find myself lagging behind our more progressive and conscious singers and musicians. Because of this, I often wish I could craft a tune and construct a lyric like Joseph Hill, or Winston Rodney, or like David Hinds. For example, it was Hinds who, in direct reference to the I.R.A., the P.L.O., and the P.A.C. and the rest of the world’s freedom fighters, declared:
BRING FORTH LIBERATION POSSE
THE CHASE MUST NOW BEGIN
FIRE TO ALL DOWNPRESSORS
DEATH IS THE WAGES OF SIN
(Steel Pulse: Babylon the Bandit)
In a few minutes of vinyl, Hinds effectively and reassuringly reminds us that affirmative and decisive action is needed to rid the world of ‘downpressors’.