If We Are Going To Heal, Let it Be Glorious is a striking title for a show. Inspired by Beyoncé’s 2017 Grammy performance from the critically acclaimed album Lemonade (which in turn drew upon the writings of British-Somali poet Warsan Shire), it speaks powerfully towards the themes of race, feminism and self-love that the exhibition’s organisers and artists seek to address.
Opening at The Royal Standard in Liverpool before travelling on to the rest of the UK, If We Are Going To Heal presents a body of work solely by self-identifying black women artists living in Britain today. It was initiated through an open call-out which received an overwhelming response, and has been described as marking “a new era of black British women no longer being afraid to creatively and boldly respond to the political and social climate which is having an effect upon their daily lives,” (Bee Tajudeen, founder and creative director of Black Blossoms).
Among the work included in the show, photographs from The “I’m Tired” Project document the lasting impact of the everyday micro-aggressions, assumptions and stereotypes that people of all backgrounds experience, but wouldn’t normally feel able to voice. Other contributions come from visual artist and performer, Heather Agyepong, who was included Mashable’s top 10 female photographers devoted to social justice, and Camilla Daniels, whose work deals with the female body, nudity and issues of sexuality and consent, whilst paying homage to the ‘Black Female’ figure.
Above all, the exhibition seeks to offer ‘a space of healing and comfort’, whilst placing the concerns of black women at the forefront of audience’s minds.
If We Are Going To Heal, Let it Be Glorious is organised by Black Blossoms, a platform which highlights the voices of black women in education and the creative industries. A panel discussion on Black Feminism and Art will be held on the 9th September.