Ronan Mckenzie curates joyful street exhibition

The photographer and curator has selected 12 artists for the show, Celebrating Joy, which has launched in London and will tour three other cities in coming months

A new outdoor exhibition is showcasing art and photography by a range of UK-based visual artists whose work embodies the idea of Black joy. Curated by photographer Ronan Mckenzie, the display has kicked off with 12 creatives in outdoor locations in north, east and south London.

Among the artists chosen for the London edition are Olivia Twist, whose illustrations capture the intricate moments of daily life, and photographer Christina Ebenezer (shown top), one of the standouts in a recent exhibition at Mckenzie’s north London arts space, Home.

Olivia Twist
Sola Olulode

There are plenty of artworks depicting subtle, everyday moments of joy. Sola Olulode’s peaceful mixed media work evokes Black sisterhood and balmy summer days, and Josephine Chime’s application of linocut techniques to her piece on motherhood, on show in east London, makes for an especially striking effect. Sondliwe’s vibrant acrylic painting of people drinking and playing dominoes can also be found in the area.

Elsewhere, passersby will find Sandra Daniel’s abstract geometric painting resembling multicoloured, multilayered honeycomb, as well as images of textile-based work by Memunatu Barrie and Asafo flags celebrating the Fante people of Ghana. Photographers Theo Gould, Rashidi Noah, Naomi Williams and Justin Akomiah complete the line up.

Josephine Chime
Sondliwe

“Celebrating Joy is about bringing artwork to public spaces that evokes a sense of lightness and happiness,” Mckenzie said. “It’s an opportunity to uplift and share an inner feeling of peace and warmth at a time when the air gets colder and the days are shorter.”

The exhibition is part of the Your Space or Mine project organised by BuildHollywood (Jack, Jack Arts and Diabolical), and features an identity designed by Mckenzie’s repeat collaborator Studio Nari.

Expect to see new billboards in Bristol in November, Birmingham in December and Sheffield in the new year, with a revolving cast of artists local to each area.

Ronan Mckenzie in front of Fante Asafo Flags installed at Seven Sisters, north London
Sandra Daniel
Theo Gould
Memunatu Barrie

buildhollywood.co.uk

JUNIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER

Milton Keynes