New exhibition and photo series supported by WeTransfer’s editorial platform celebrates Black female photographers through the art of self-portraiture
(Left to right: Christina Nwabugo, Ejatu Shaw, Joy Gregory, available on WePresent for The Self Portrait)
13 May 2021, LONDON: WePresent, the editorial platform of WeTransfer, has collaborated with British photographer Ronan Mckenzie’s HOME art space to host an intimate exhibition titled The Self Portrait. The show celebrates thirteen Black female photographers through the art of self portraiture and will run from May 13-June 27 2021.
Open to the public at HOME art space in London and available digitally on WePresent, The Self Portrait is curated by Mckenzie, who alongside her own work invited photographers Adama Jalloh, Joy Gregory, Christina Ebenezer, Denisha Anderson, Olivia Lifungula, Ejatu Shaw, Tino Chiwariro, Christina Nwabugo, Amaal Said, Lucie Rox, Tori Taiwo and Jennie Baptiste to take their own self-portraits, some of which were taken during the ‘Stay At Home’ Covid-19 restrictions in the UK.
While photographers are used to looking outside themselves for inspiration, these works have been created through the lens of self-observation. Some self-portraits are close up, intimate and spontaneous, while others are more formal and stylised, showcasing distinctive artistic styles and experimentation. We see the journey from image-maker to subject as these women explore their own representation.
The Self Portrait series exemplifies the inner dialogue that takes place when making a work as personal as self-portraiture. It likewise honours the multifaceted nature of the Black female experience, from the point of view of Black women themselves.
Holly Fraser, Editor in Chief of WePresent said, “As long time admirers of Ronan Mckenzie we are delighted to partner with her for this exhibition, highlighting the powerful work of inspiring Black female photographers and creating space for important conversations. Having worked with over 1000 creatives from more than 100 countries around the world, WePresent has always been dedicated to representative storytelling and we hope that supporting The Self Portrait will help to diversify the self-portraiture canon.”
Ronan Mckenzie said: “As photographers we spend much time and consideration focusing outwards, taking care of the subject and absorbing their emotions, the exhibition shifts this focus to ensure we are extending that same care to ourselves and one another. Simultaneously, external and societal pressures situate black women in a continual process of being switched on - aware of the expectations, judgements and connotations placed upon us by the outside world. The exhibition will be an opportunity for self-observation, reflection, and giving space and attention to the inner conversation that takes place when making a work. A space of quiet, introspective and experimental making, which honours the multiplicity and abundance of the Black female experience, written by us, for us and with us in mind. I wanted to partner with WePresent because of their clear care for, and consideration, in meaningfully celebrating artists, and allowing us to take the reins to present and share the stories and works that are important to us.”
The Self Portrait will run from May 13-June 27 at HOME, Second Floor, 399 Hornsey Rd, London N19 4DX, and online from May 13 on WePresent
Image sheet here, created via Paste by WeTransfer
Born out of the necessity for a truly accessible art space with both a well curated presentation of exhibitions, and a wide programme of events, HOME is one of very few Black owned art spaces in London. Founded by Ronan Mckenzie to create a distinct space with a new set of understandings of how to contextualise a diverse range of artists, building on personal experiences of institutions and providing a new infrastructure for creativity.
With a leading focus on supporting Black and Indigenous People of Colour, HOME aligns with the contemporary economic climate, with a considered curatorial and events offerings pertaining to the work of BIPOC artists in a context that thoroughly understands them from the inside out. Alongside exhibitions, HOME presents a community focussed events programme and creative work space which aim to encourage, share and support. HOME is a malleable concept which transforms and responds to the artists it houses and the community it is built for.
WePresent is WeTransfer’s editorial platform, acting as the company’s cultural torchbearer and curator of creativity to 4m monthly readers in 190 countries. WePresent showcases the best in art, photography, music, and more, offering readers a fresh take on the magic and mystery of creative ideas. Championing diversity in everything it does, WePresent scours the globe for unexpected stories about creativity, from emerging young talent to renowned artists like Marina Abramovic, Solange Knowles, Riz Ahmed, John Legend, Tyler Mitchell, Björk, FKA twigs, and Bernardine Evaristo.
Having made its name in the game of quick and simple file-sharing, WeTransfer has grown into an end-to-end suite of digital solutions with more than 70 million monthly active users in 190 countries. WeTransfer’s set of tools are specifically designed to enable creative professionals to inspire, conceive, share, and deliver their work. Collect is the go-to app people turn to for saving and sharing inspiration. Paste® is the collaborative presentation tool of choice for fast-moving teams. Paper® helps creative minds sketch, paint, and draw on iOS. And of course there’s the original file-sharing platform. The company celebrates and inspires its global creative community on WePresent, WeTransfer’s editorial platform to 4m monthly readers.
As a certified B Corporation WeTransfer strives to use business as a force for good. Since the beginning WeTransfer has donated up to 30% of advertising real estate to raise awareness for artists, creative work, and the world’s most pressing issues such as climate change and gun control. This amounts to more than $300 million to date and has led to partnerships with artists and organizations like Marina Abramovic, Björk, FKA twigs, Ryan McGinley, Solange Knowles, the Nelson Mandela Foundation, and the UN Development Program.