Hidden Voices of Power | 6th – 28th October 2023

Joel Morris | Melissa Rodrigues | Anna Smith | Nathan Thomas | Jasmine Violet

Rhagolwg/Preview: 06/10/23 5yh/5pm

Arddangosfa’n parhau tan dydd Sadwrn Hydref 28ain
exhibition continues until Saturday October 28th

Oriel ar agor Dydd Mercher – Dydd Sadwrn 11yb – 9yh
Gallery open Weds – Sat 11am – 9pm

‘Hidden Voices of Power is a collective of five black biracial artists from Wales. By exhibiting together in Swansea for the first time as part of Black History Month in October 2023 we will showcase black biracial talent from Wales. We will use our work to tell our powerful stories and explore our black and biracial identity as artists trained and living in Wales. We aim to become the role models we never had as growing up in Wales as diverse young artists’.

Hidden Voices of Power collective is led by Nathan Thomas assisted by Melissa Rodrigues, both neurodivergent artists from the BME community.

‘We wanted to come together to explore black and biracial identity in Wales through our work and to create the kind of exhibition we never saw ourselves growing up as black and biracial artists now living and working in Wales’.

The collective brings together five artists from diverse backgrounds, and neurodiverse artists, to tell our stories and create work which is relevant to and resonates with BME communities.

‘As a group of emerging artists trained in Wales, we feel the work in galleries around the UK does not reflect our heritage or biracial identity. Just 2,000 artworks in the UK’s permanent art collections are by Black artists – most of which aren’t on display. Two thousand may seem a considerable number, but the National Gallery alone has over 2,300 works and there are over 1,400 galleries in the UK.

Success for us is about building awareness of the collective and developing a voice for black and biracial artists in and from Wales. We want to reach into our own communities and create a very different audience for visual art, sharing work drawn from our own stories and those of the black and minority ethnic communities we belong to in Wales and embracing neuro diverse audiences.

The exhibition will run throughout October 2023 during Black History Month and will be accompanied by an explainer video providing an accessible format for neurodivergent visitors and creating neurodiverse friendly exhibitions.

About the artists:

Nathan Thomas is a Swansea based artist with a Masters degree in Moving Image from Trinity St David’s. Nathan is second generation British Jamaican; his grandparents having arrived in the UK on the Windrush, and his father is from the South Wales Valleys.

Melissa Milanca Balecante Rodrigues is a Swansea based artist who graduated from University of Wales Trinity St David and a founding member of the Art Collective Axe Head to Everything.

Joel Morris is an artist based in Southwest Wales who practices photorealism in charcoal, mainly consisting of both traditional and dynamic portraits of people and animals.

Ana Amira is a qualified teacher who is currently completing her MA in Art at Trinity St David’s. Ana is a landscape painter and film maker.

Jasmine Violet began their professional artistic journey in the Welsh art scene after finishing art school in 2020.