Barbara Walker: As Seen

1 February - 23 March 2013

Tiwani Contemporary is pleased to present As Seen, Barbara Walker’s first major solo show in London. This exhibition will present new large-scale drawings as well as existing work depicting 'unidentifiable' males. Executed with charcoal and graphite, these portraits raise questions about societal constructs and examine how identity has come to be understood as an accumulation of images and cultural representations. As Seen captures nuances of Walker's practice in the way she selects, interrogates and scrutinises anonymous male identities in her native city of Birmingham and as well as abroad. Walker's work is largely informed by her observations of life in urban environments and her commitment to giving a voice to the anonymous young men she observes.

Walker's portraits indirectly reference writer Malcolm Bernard's book Fashion as Communication, in which he asserts that "fashion and clothing are ways in which inequalities of social and economic status are made to appear right and legitimate and therefore acceptable." Using clothing and hairstyles of black males as her starting point, Walker invites the viewer to consider alternate spheres in which identities are formed. Walker's work is also shaped by her own experiences of raising a son, with the artwork My Song inspired by the stop-and-search procedures her son experienced with West Midlands Police.

An accompanying publication, Barbara Walker: As Seen, is available for purchase through the gallery. More information here.