Meet 3 artists from Reframe: The Residency group exhibition

Meet 3 artists from Reframe: The Residency group exhibition

Reframe: The Residency is a free exhibition at Southbank Centre showcasing 13 works by collectives of Black artists across London, Manchester, and Birmingham. Featuring 77 collaborators in total, the exhibition, curated by Misan Harriman, responds to the climate emergency we’re living in – and the different forms of impact it’s having on diasporic communities and the artists’ countries of heritage. 

In an exclusive interview, three exhibiting artists spoke to GUAP about the creative process behind their work and the exhibition. 

Micah Stalgic

Micah Stalgic is a versatile Nigerian artist who blends hip-hop, R&B, and Afrobeat to craft a distinctive sound. He has long been captivated by the seamless fusion of music and dance, which drives him to develop his skills to create electrifying experiences for audiences.

GUAP: How did you interpret the theme of climate change in your work?

Micah: My group decided to showcase Africa’s sustainable practices through reuse, repurposing, and rebranding. I was highlighting how these principles help us contribute positively to climate conditions across the planet.

GUAP: Why is it vital for art to address the theme of climate change?

Micah: Art is a universal language that conveys emotions and vulnerability. Its unique power to capture the attention of both viewers and listeners makes it the ideal medium for this message.

An African Guide to Conservation. Photo Credit: Pete Woodhead

Justine Luaba

Justine Luaba is an artist who enjoys working in experimental, collaborative ways. She tells stories through sound and music, saying, ‘Every project is a message from me to you.’ As Luaba develops her craft, she hopes to change how we experience music by pushing the boundaries of technology.

GUAP: How did you interpret the theme of climate change in your work?

Justine: Overall, our work conveys a conversation between mother nature and her children. We wanted to acknowledge how humanity has hurt mother nature by damaging some of the most precious natural resources, such as water. As a group, we wondered what the world would look like if we continued to ignore the threat of the climate crisis, and the two visual worlds we created as a result of that are quite dystopian and barren. We didn’t want to shy away from the unsettling/uncomfortable aspect of the unknown. 

GUAP: What were the most rewarding aspects of your experience?

Justine: Being a part of such a talented cohort of artists has been inspiring. It’s been amazing to connect to so many artists in Birmingham, Manchester, and London. I’m super appreciative of the team I worked with because we held it down for each other, and I love the mentors too!

J-Jai Allison

J-Jai Allison is an artist from West London who is driven by a passion for creating melodies that leave audiences yearning for more. Inspired by the diverse voices surrounding him at the Notting Hill Carnival, Allison strives to express his authentic self fearlessly through music and creative direction.

GUAP: What drew you to Reframe: The Residency when you decided to apply?

J-Jai: Reframe: The Residency caught my attention because it uniquely offered an opportunity to elevate my musical skills and delve into disciplines like film and photography that I had previously dabbled in yet never fully explored. It was a defining moment for me – a chance to seize and embrace a holistic creative journey. Additionally, the prospect of collaborating with a diverse community of fellow artists was simply irresistible. How could I resist such an opportunity?

GUAP: What lies ahead for you and your creative pursuits?

J-jai: As we progress, our collaboration continues to flourish, holding the promise of exciting projects. Moreover, we are considering the prospect of organizing a Reframe music showcase by year’s end. This journey has ignited a spark, propelling me towards further artistic exploration and collaboration as I strive to contribute meaningfully to the creative tapestry of the future.

Breathless. Photo Credit: Pete Woodhead

Reframe: The Residency closes on Sunday, 27 August.

Discover more from GUAP’s Arts and Culture Section here