“One of America’s most distinguished contemporary artists, Ligon (b.1960) has been deeply engaged with the written word throughout his career. Drawing attention to the problems of language and representation, he addresses pressing and challenging topics of race, language and sexuality. His works reconsider and re-present American history, especially narratives of slavery and civil rights, within a contemporary context. Best known for his stencilled text based paintings, he weaves together wide-ranging influences from literature, visual arts and popular culture. Over the past 10 years, Ligon has also been dedicated to interrogating these themes through his prolific and astute writing and interviews” Camden Arts Centre, Frognal.
By pushing myself I went along to the art workshop at Camden Art Centre and was privileged to get in to see Ligon’s work. I was still tired from going to Alexandra Palace for the stichin’ an’ knittin’ jamboree for a fiver yesterday afternoon,
Camden is, let’s not beat about the bush, posh. The Camden Arts Centre is lovely and very much like a library in days of yore; you know, tan-coloured wood and an huge counter in the entrance where no-one looks up. I and my companions are used to going to someone else’s party.
Let’s remember it’s Black History Month but it’s by pure coincidence that a famous (outwith UK) black artist dwelling on US race issues and sores has his mammoth works up in three massive galleries in a community arts centre.
We workshop participants, all seniors, looked and learned then released our arties by rubbing Letraset and drawing around stencils to produce what we were inspired to do after examining and reacting to Ligon’s videos, neon lights and the mother of silk screens. Twas all about the text.
We ate our sarnis on the train platform bench back to Leyton.