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Act 1: Ira – Curiosity and Creative Language

28th May 2020
Image: James Northcote, Ira Aldridge as Othello, the Moor of Venice, 1826 (detail).

Join Iniva for a creative conversation with artist Jade Montserrat. This event explores understandings of the term ‘care’ in relation to art gallery collections management, artistic practice and language.

Jade will be in conversation with Amber Akaunu and Fauziya Johnson (Rooted Zine), Maurice Carlin (Artistic co-director of Islington Mill) and Rivca Rubin (Artistic co-director of Islington Mill, Upwording).

Taking inspiration from the Stuart Hall Library, a critical and creative hub for issues of cultural identity, this conversation centres on access to art historical information and how questions arising from James Northcote’s painting of Ira Aldridge, Othello, The Moor of Venice (1826) Manchester Art Gallery’s first acquisition, serve to prompt and provoke urgencies in developing creative languages. Positing Ira Aldridge as a symbol of resistance, the framework for this exchange derives from developing understandings of care as potential within artistic practice.

The conversation will be shaped by refining and expanding on ‘care of collections’ and ‘ care of artists’; how societal and historical factors determine care of objects and people,  and how creative languages  encourage care for use of words and ownership of words. 

This discussion, the first in a series of three conversations with invited speakers, is positioned within the context of Manchester Art Gallery’s collection. Through focusing on Ira Aldridge, the Future Collect Project aims to make space for African Diasporan legacies in parallel with stories related to ‘Cottonopolis’, the name given to Manchester, the metropolitan centre of the Industrial Revolution. 

Amber Akaunu – Amber is a filmmaker, photographer and artist dissecting the relationship between race and identity. Amber is also co-founder of Rooted Zine. 

Fauziya Johnson – Fauziya is co-founder of Rooted Zine and an artist working with the medium of photography and drawing.  Fuaziya’s practice challenges the continual issues of systemic racist practice relating this to the discourse of people’s cultural opinions within the Afro-Caribbean community in the U.K today. 

Maurice Carlin – Maurice is an artist and Artistic co-director of Islington Mill. Maurice explores structures and processes within independent peer-led education and is co-founder of Islington Mill Art Academy.

Rivca Rubin – Rivca Rubin is an Artistic co-director of Islington Mill. She is the founder of Upwording, evolutionising thinking through every use of language towards a more desirable world for all. 

Image: James Northcote, Ira Aldridge as Othello, the Moor of Venice, 1826 (detail).