Work by Youth Participants
A timeline documenting the social histories of Railton Road with material sourced from archive visits, web research and personal contributions.
Portraits of the people who kindly shared their stories of Railton Road.
Placards of quotes from important community members from Railton Road.
Archive hub of documents and publications on Railton Road or by residents of Railton Road.
A short film that weaves the narratives and memories of life on Railton Road through interviews.
A series of collages of key figures, moments and protests that relate to Railton Road.
Work by Young Artists
Intellectual Property (Series Title):
Intellectual Property (58), Intellectual Property (60), Intellectual Property (62), Intellectual Property (64) (2018)
The drawings depict four of eleven houses on Railton Road simultaneously broken into during police raids on 15th July 1981 as described in the National Archives public record ‘Home affairs civil disorder: disturbances in Brixton, Bristol, Liverpool, Manchester and London districts…’.
These raids occurred shortly after the Brixton riots on suspicion petrol bombs were housed inside, however none were found. In the report each door number listed has a description of the events that unfolded during the raids including disputed accusations of violence and damage caused during the forced entry.
Each drawing is of the outside of the houses as they stand today and beneath an extract of text from the original police report relating to the property with a unique QR code (machine readable code) adjacent.
It is encouraged for viewers to do their own detective work and use their smart phones to scan the QR code and unveil more of the information from the National Archive report. Alternatively read from the printed document available in the exhibition.
The work highlights the radical history of Railton Road in the context of police surveillance and control, hence the visual play on ‘the thin blue line’. Intellectual Property encourages the viewer to re-examine present day ideas surrounding Brixton’s heritage and identity by accessing historic documents available on the world wide web.
Jacob V . Joyce
"My heart will always be in Brixton" (December 2017)
Piece is a framed illustration of Olive Morris with a map and key of places where she carried out various actions around Brixton.
These Walls (2016)
These Walls’ is a retrospective video piece which brings together parts of 198 Contemporary Arts & Learning’s extensive and recently digitised VHS archive. The film presents some of the remarkable work that BAME artists have shown in the gallery, and the influential work that has been done with the local community of Brixton, in particular making contemporary art accessible to those commonly excluded from it. In a context where creative and community spaces, particularly those centring Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic people, are few and far-between, ‘These Walls’ presents often forgotten legacies of Black British art and community work, particularly with young people, in order to gesture towards the future.
Length: 46 mins 31 secs
ARCHIVE CREDITS (IN ORDER OF APPEARANCE)
- Audio: Intro to ‘These Walls’ by Kendrick Lamar, 2015.
- Clips from performance ‘Snake in the Forest’ by Shigeru Araki, as part of his show ‘Koshi A La Kirin’, March/April 1995.
- Excerpt from TV Programme ‘Mind The Gap’ on the 198 Gallery.
- Interview with 198 founder Zoe Linsley-Thomas and featuring work from artists Hassan Aliyu, Eugene Palmer, Jennie Baptiste and Eddie Otchere.
- Clips from speech given by Trevor McDonald at 198 Gallery, Mid-Late 1990s.
- Short interview with Deputy Commissioner of Zimbabwe Happy Mahlangu about the commissioning of a memorial statue of the first child killed in the Soweto uprising of 1976 during Apartheid. The statue ‘First Child’ is located in Max Roach Park, Brixton. It was commissioned by the 198 gallery originally planned to be completed by Zimbabwean artist David Mutasa, but was completed in 1998 by sculptor Raymond Watson.
- Clips from an Art Sale run by 198 Gallery, Early 1990s.
- Featuring works by Eugene Palmer and George ‘Fowokan’ Kelly (among others) and Fowokan conversing with other artists and visitors.
- Interview with artist Shaheen Merali at the 198 Gallery, early 1990s.
- Clips from ‘Rap Forum’ by Hip-Hop Group Scientists of Sound. Event as part of Faisal Abdu’Allah & Clive Allen’s show ‘Revelations’ and featuring the work. Feb/March 1996.
- Clip from Talk at 198 with American artist ‘Ben Jones’ as part of his show ‘In The Spirit’, featuring the work, 1994.
- Clips from artist profile of Henrietta Atooma Alele, and school workshop with the artist and a secondary boys group, both in the Gallery, featuring her work and poetry. As part of ‘Winds of Change: Africa 95 Season’, Nov 1995.
- Excerpt from Channel 4’s show ‘Gallery Week’ about 198. Featuring youth workshops as part of the ‘Black Angels’ Project and art work at Riley Hall (now the Black Cultural Archives). May/June 1997.
- Clips from exhibition event featuring works by Janet Ricketts (and other artists) and an unknown Saxophonist in the courtyard. Followed by clips from interview with Janet Ricketts about her work in the Gallery.
- Workshop with children from St Jude’s School in the Gallery. As part of the exhibition ‘Tsunami’ by Takuro Mikame and Miwa Kojima, Oct-Dec, 2001.
- Clips from the ‘First Steps’ educational programme commissioned by 198. Songs written and performed by the young participants.
Collages of protest (2017)
A digital collage of the Brixton residents interviewed for the 'Voices from the Frontline' exhibit as they reflect on their connection to Railton Road.
Rosa Johan Uddoh
About Olive Morris: Heaven and Earth 1 (2017)
Black clay fired roof tile. Quote taken from a schoolmate remembering Olive Morris confronting a policeman, perhaps when she was evicted. Found in ‘The Heart of the Race: Black Women’s Lives in Britain’, by Beverley Bryan, Stella Dadzie & Suzanne Scafe.
About Olive Morris: Heaven and Earth 2 (2017)
Terracotta clay fired sculpture based on archival photographs of Olive Morris’ ear.
Courage: Transforming children and young people’s mental health provision (2018)
Inspired by the education activism of Olive Morris, this work is a visual response to the government's current Green Paper 'Transforming children and young people’s mental health provision'. The painting links to an on-going body of work by Kamala under the title of State of Education, which speaks to the unprecedented changes taking place across the English education system and wider cultural discussions.
Resilience: Transforming teachers and school leaders mental health provision (2018)
Inspired by the education activism of Olive Morris, this work is a take on the government's current Green Paper 'Transforming children and young people's mental health provision' from the prospective of meeting the mental health needs of teachers and school leaders. The painting links to an on-going body of work by Kamala under the title of State of Education, which speaks to the unprecedented changes taking place across the English education system and wider cultural discussions.
A response by artist and educator Linett Kamala – January 2018
What characterises the spirit of Railton Road, and, what does the space now mean for people who visited and lived on the street?'
For me the characteristics of courage, resilience, determination and cooperation sum up the spirit of Railton Road. W'hen researching the archives for this project I choose as my starting point Olive Morris, the inspirational community activist of 1970s Britain, who died at the young age of 27 leaving behind a significant legacy of activism. Morris was a member of the British Black Panthers, as well as a founding member of the Organisation of Women of African and Asian Descent (OWAAD) and the Brixton Black Women’s Group. The breadth of her political work spanned from her pioneer role in the local squatter campaigns in South London; to organising with Black women and the student movement in London and Manchester, and supporting liberation struggles throughout the world (Source: The Olive Memorial Awards 2011).
Morris was an activist campaigning on many social justice issues who would often say “Don’t just criticise – organise!” She was passionate about education and volunteered at a supplementary school in the Abeng Centre which was at the heart of Brixton.
My visit to the 198 Archives also led me to discover the UNnecessary Homework exhibition by Larry Achiampong in 2007 and watch the Back to School Artist Talk by Achiampong, Paul Dash and visual artist Faisal Abdu’Allah. Achiampong desire to express his experience of education through his art has similarities to the current themes in my work, where I highlight important issues affecting young people and leaders working within education. I also attended secondary school and Art College with Abdu’Allah.
It is Morris’s campaigning for education and Achiampong Unnecessary Homework from the 198 Archives which made me consider what are the current dominate issues in the English education system? In my view this is mental health and wellbeing. Interestingly, when applying the 2004 national survey to Lambeth, the borough which the 198 Gallery is situation in, it shows that the estimated rates of mental ill health in Lambeth children and young people are higher than in London and England. However, there is also much ground breaking work taking place across the borough which is reversing some of these figures.
Hayley A . Reid
Born in Babylon x Pirate Video Station (2018
A mix and blend of videos on Brixton in the 1970s with dub Aztec Warrior by Mad Professor
Railton Road (2017)
A poem inspired by the history of the ‘sus laws’ and tensions built between police and community action.
Acrylic on canvas with audio. This piece is a reimagining of the river Effra; and underground river that runs through south London. The audio and visual collaboration is supposed to bring the audience into a fictional representation of the River which is in contrast with which it stands today.