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This blog was created for Black History Month as part of Black Gold Arts Festival

The North West is a powerhouse of creativity, both producing and attracting artists into its neighbourhood. For Black History Month we wanted to highlight some of these incredible visual artists!

Anya Paintsil

Having recently graduated from Manchester School of Art, Welsh and Ghanaian artist Anya Paintsil’s work is both playful and profound. Working primarily with textiles, Anya uses materiality and political personhood to create thought-provoking tapestries.

An artist to look out for. ⭐️

Head to Anya’s website by clicking here.

Artist: Anya Paintsil, tapestry artwork

Ayna or Anum, 2020, Anya Paintsil

Sumuyya Khader

Next up we have Illustrations from Sumuyya Khader. This Liverpool-based artist explores place and identity within her drawings, prints, and illustrations. Sumuyya has recently set up a community-based organisation Grandy Press, developing an archive of black culture and history in the L8 area of Liverpool.

Not only are we in awe with the incorporation of activism and nature within the work – but we’re in love with the colour palettes too.

It’s a thumbs up for us. 👍

Click Here to find out more.

Artist: Sumuyya Khader, Illustration

Focus, 2021, Sumuyya Khader

Amber Akaunu

Having co-founded the multi-award-winning magazine ROOT-ed, a platform that promotes and supports BIPoC (black, Indigenous and people of colour) creatives from the North West, Amber is definitely an artist you should know about. Artist, filmmaker, community arts worker and curator, Amber explores concepts and ideas of race and identity as a Black Northern woman through her work.

Watch Amber’s short film Afro Hair Rituals here. The film is a celebration of women and their afro hair.

We’re here for change-makers. 🙌

Artist: Amber Akaunu, Video

Afro Hair Rituals, Amber Akaunu

Tobi Alexandra Falade

Nigerian born, Liverpool and London based visual artist Tobi uses identity and the self as narratives. She explores ideas of other versions of herself, her ‘shadow self’. She often reimagines herself as if she continued to live in Nigeria after moving to England within her work.

Using family albums from Nigeria, and her own present-day photography, Tobi manipulates these two worlds for the compositions for her figurative oil paintings.

Yes, to artists reimagining worlds. 🌍

You can find more of Tobi’s work here.

Artist: Tobi Alexandra Falade, Painting

Mirror Me, 2019, Tobi Alexandra Falade Painting

Ofunne Azinge

Currently studying her MA in painting at Manchester School of Art, Ofunne is a Nigerian – British painter. Her work centres primarily on the history of post-colonialism in Nigeria and the subsequent effects on black men across the diaspora and black masculinity, drawing on complexities of her upbring and nostalgia.

Ofunne work is currently being shown at PS Mirabels by collective Painting Writing, Head to their Instagram page here to find out more about the show.

Skills to dream of. ☁️

You can find Ofunne’s catalogue of work here.

Artist: Ofunne Azinge, painting

Johnny Just Drop (J.J.D), 2021, Ofunne Azinge

This blog was created for Black History Month as part of Black Gold Arts Festival. Check out our full lineup of live performances, exhibitions, talks and events here.

Contact also currently has two exhibitions in the Building. Head over any time between 10am – 10pm to check out Speakers Corner: Sisterhood and Anthology of Joy.

Tanica Powell