Jarman Award artists take over London's Whitechapel Gallery

Latest 16 Nov 2022

News Story

Jarman Award Tour at Whitechapel Gallery, London.

Rosa-Johan Uddoh speaking at the Jarman Award Tour event at Whitechapel Gallery, London.

On Saturday 12 November, the artist filmmakers shortlisted for this year's Film London Jarman Award took over the Whitechapel Gallery for a day of presentations, talks and film screenings.

After presenting their work at leading galleries throughout the UK, all of the shortlisted artists were present at the Whitechapel Gallery on Saturday for the final day in the Film London Jarman Award Tour. Throughout the day, the artists guided us through and immersed us in their own journeys of artistic exploration and discovery.

Alongside the personal encounters with the artists, attendees were treated to a celebration of Derek Jarman's own life and work. The Whitechapel Gallery presented Derek Jarman at 80; a series of films and never seen before readings and audio recordings of the artist's revolutionary work.

Films in the Film London Jarman Award Touring Programme 2022 and recorded interviews with this year's class of artists were also screened throughout the day in the Whitechapel Gallery's immersive Study Studio.

Grace Ndiritu's Black Beauty Screening at Whitechapel Gallery, London for Jarman Award Tour

Grace Ndiritu's Black Beauty Screening at Whitechapel Gallery, London for Jarman Award Tour

The day began with Onyeka Igwediscussing their recent and upcoming art work in conversation with Dr Jareh Das, a writer, researcher and curator working in-between West Africa and the UK. Onyeka's film a so called archive (2020), was screened at the Gallery, inviting audiences to tour the physical spaces entrenched in the forgotten colonial pasts of the UK and Nigeria.

Following this discussion was Morgan Quaintance's artist talk: (Back)Slide Show. Departing from the traditional base format of a slide show presentation, Morgan's spoken narration, interspersed with music and moving image material, unpacked the themes behind his Film London Jarman Award Touring Programme film Surviving You, Always (2020). The film, screening at the Gallery, dually and emotionally recounts the artist's experiences with psychedelic drugs and urban hardship in 1990S London.

Half way through the day, both Alberta Whittle and Rosa-Johan Uddoh presented readings from their recent work. Alberta's reading of a text from here recent film Lagareh - The Last Born (2022) was followed by a conversation with Lisa Anderson, Managing Director (Interim) of Black Cultural Archives. Lagareh explores themes of race, xenophobia and trauma through archival footage from post-colonial communities from Africa to the Caribbean, using storytelling as a powerful device from which to confront complex emotions such as grief, rage and hope.

Rosa-Johan Uddoh presented readings from her new book Practice Makes Perfect centring around themes of radical self-love and inspired by Black feminist writing, akin to the practice and writing of Lola Olufemi who led a Q&A with Rosa after her presentation. Rosa's featured film at Whitechapel this past week was Black Poirot (2018-2021), a journey on the Orientalised-Other Express; as a crime that one can remember is investigated. The film tackles themes of tokenism in mass media, using music and archival footage of British popular culture to invite us to learn about a not-so-well known history.

In conversation with London and Lisbon-based artist Celine Condorelli, Grace Ndiritu discussed her artistic inspirations, from themes of shamanism, histories of indigenous communities, and her desire to create non-rational expanded cinema. In Grace's film Black Beauty (2021), an African fashion model, whilst filming an advertisement in Patagonia, falls into a hallucinatory trance as she reimagines herself as a Late Night talk show host in the presence of legendary Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges. The film draws you into a time-altering reality to explore key issues of climate change, migration and pandemics.

Jamie Crewe's artist talk DEMONIC HALF-PERSON covered the artistic techniques and inspirations that have inspired her throughout her career from sculpture to 18th century queer literature. After discussing how she has worked to create video responses to these themes in her work, Jamie's film False Wife (2022) was also screened at Whitechapel. The film's stimulating music and hypnotic visuals take viewers through a unique experience of shame, desire and longing for change, masked under the narration of a poppers training video.

Stay tuned to our website and social media channels, as you'll be able to watch all the films mentioned here, when the winner of the Film London Jarman Award 2022 is announced on Tuesday 22nd November!