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Vanley Burke


Role in project: Artist & mentor

Artist Website: www.vanley.co.uk


Vanley Burke (born 1951) is a British Jamaican photographer and artist, who has been described as "the Godfather of Black British Photography", with his body of work "regarded as the greatest photographic record of African Caribbean people in post-war Britain” (Vanley Burke, Desert Island Discs, BBCRadio 4, 9 November 2018.) His first notable exhibition, Handsworth from the Inside, was held at the Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, and then the Commonwealth Institute in London in 1983. Since then his work has been exhibited extensively at venues including The Light House, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, The Black Arts Gallery in London, Cornerhouse in Manchester and Walsall Museum and Art Gallery, and he has held solo exhibitions abroad in New York City and Mali. He has also purposefully exhibited his work in locations more easily accessible to black audiences such as community centres, clubs, pubs, churches, pool halls and schools. As an avid collector, Vanley continues to connect histories through his substantial archive housed at the Library of Birmingham. 


Vanley launched the History, Her Story, Their Story, Our Story project with his interview with Rider Shafique at the Gloucester History festival Spring event.

Watch it here 


As the lead artist taking part in the History, Her Story, Their Story, Our Story project, he will mentor the four local artists as well as contributing to the final exhibitions and events. Each of the other artists will select one of his works that relates to their practice to contribute to their exhibition or event at the culmination of the project.

Introduction to the project

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