Thin black line(s) at the Tate

I had the privilege of being commissioned to photograph the Thin Black Line(s) exhibition at Tate Britain, curated by Paul Goodwin and artist Lubaina Himid MBE, Northern Art Prize People’s Choice winner 2010.

This exhibition presents a selection of work drawn from three major exhibitions of black women artists curated by Lubaina in the 1980’s, including works by artists Claudette Johnson, Maud Sulter, Ingrid Pollard and Lubaina Himid. Drawings, paintings, sculptures and photographs are showcased alongside a video documentary on the Black art scene together with archival documents including letters, invitations and posters from past exhibitions.

The brief was to document the show, to record the installation in the grandeur of the setting in the Tate and also to show the work in groups, as some of them had not been shown together before. This was an important exhibition, so it was a real priviledge to have been asked.

I would only have access to the gallery for a relatively short time, so needed to plan ahead for the shots, look at the exhibition and the artworks on display, check light levels, try angles and take some ‘reccy’ shots. I was shown around and given the brief of what was required by Lubaina herself which was very useful.

At 6.30am I was ready to start, with access only for a couple of hours so needed to work quickly.

It was a really interesting and enjoyable job – the reflections on some of the glass framed pieces were a little challenging as were some of the archive materials in perspex display cases but having now reviewed all of the images taken, I am pleased with the results.