exhibitions / news

BAM – Korabra by Gavin Jantjes – Herbert Gallery – 25 February 2016

The Korabra series by Gavin Jantjes

Gavin Jantjes, Korabra series, 1986 © the copyright holder photo credit: Herbert Art Gallery & Museum

In partnership with the Black Artists and Modernism project , the Herbert will presents paintings from the Korabra series by Gavin Jantjes. Created in 1986 at the West Indian Association Club in Coventry, the paintings explore the transatlantic slave trade.

Up until the nineteenth century, around 300 million people from Africa were seized from their homes, and exported to become slaves. This series of paintings explores the issues surrounding this trade of people, and the suffering of those involved. The word `Korabra’ comes from Ghana and means `to go and come back’. It is also a name for a funeral drum sounded for the dead. Many of the slaves died on the transatlantic crossings because of the terrible conditions in which they were held.

​This exhibition is one of a series of interventions around public art collections in the UK carried out as part of the Black Artists and Modernism project (University of the Arts, London and Middlesex University) a 3-year, AHRC funded research programme investigating the often-understated connections and points of conflict between black British artistic practices and objects and their relationship to modernism.