On Saturday 20th April, Black History Studies went on a road trip to Nottingham to support our good friend Charlie Phillips with the launch of his ‘Charlie Phillips: The Urban Eye. Hidden Stories in the Rise of Modern Multicultural London’ photographic exhibition which opened at New Art Exchange, curated by Paul Goodwin. This was his first solo exhibition outside London in the UK.
The information on the exhibition is below:
Race riots, rogue landlords, street life, interracial relationships, fashion and images of bohemia are captured in Charlie Phillips’ latest exhibition Charlie Phillips: The Urban Eye. The striking ‘captured moments’ in his photographic collection not only form part of a constructed mythology of Notting Hill neighbourhoods in West London during the late 1950s and 1960s, but also trace the evolution and transformation of the migrant urban experience into the cosmopolitan cities we inhabit today.
The exhibition features key works from Charlie Phillips’s iconic Notting Hill pictures including some that have not been seen in a public gallery before. This will be accompanied by important documents and materials from Charlie’s personal archive illustrating over 40 years of his commitment, techniques and engagement with documenting hidden histories and communities in London and other European cities.
It was a lovely sunny day and there was a large turnout to support Charlie and his exhibition. A small group from London came up via National Express to support Charlie which was nice to see, as we must support our artists who document our story. Anyone who has the opportunity to sit and speak to Charlie will be amazed with the stories and views he has to share.
After the launch event, we had a lovely reception at The Chase Neighbourhood Centre with some Caribbean food and live music. Black History Studies hosted the screening of Rootical, a film about Charlie Phillips which was followed by an audience with Charlie Phillips, who had me laughing away at his stories and his interaction with the audience. To purchase the film and support his work, go to http://www.blackhistorystudies.com/shop/
Living in Nottingham or visiting soon? Visit the Charlie Phillips: The Urban Eye exhibition at New Art Exchange before Saturday 6 July.
About Artist Charlie Phillips
Ronald “Charlie” Phillips (born 1944) is a Jamaican-born restaurateur, photographer, and documenter of black London. He is now best known for his photographs of Notting Hill during the period of West Indian migration to London; however, his subject matter has also included film stars and student protests, with his photographs having appeared in Stern, Harper’s Bazaar, Life and Vogue and in Italian and Swiss journals. He came with his family to Notting Hill, London in 1956 and as a young man he travelled all over Europe. In 1968/9 he took photographs of the student riots in Paris and Rome. He had his first exhibition in Milan in 1972 where he showed photographs portraying the frustrations and difficulties of urban migrant workers. Returning to London after several years, he lived “a bohemian life of squats and pop festivals. During the 1980s, he took photographs documenting West Indian funerals at Kensal Green Cemetery and other cemeteries in London. In 1989 he moved to south London to run a restaurant in Wandsworth, Smokey Joe’s Diner, during which time he did not pursue his career as a photographer.
A revival of interest in his work came with it being featured in an exhibition in the Tabernacle in Notting Hill in 1991, coinciding with the launch of his book of photographs, Notting Hill In the Sixties, introduced by the writer Mike Phillips. In recent years his work has been seen and lauded in numerous high profile exhibitions at prestigious venues such as the Museum of London (Through London’s Eyes 2003; Roots to Reckoning 2006) and Tate Britain (How We Are: Photographing Britain 2007).
About Curator Paul Goodwin
Paul Goodwin is an independent curator, lecturer and urban theorist based in London. As a curator at Tate Britain from 2008-2012 he directed Tate Britain’s pioneering Cross Cultural Programme a multi-discpliniary platform exploring the impact of globalisation on contemporary art in Britain. He has curated and co-curated a number of internationally significant exhibitions including: Migrations: Journeys Into British Art, Tate Britain 2012; Thin Black Line(s), Tate Britain, 2011; Go Tell It On The Mountain: Towards A New Monumentalism, 2011 and Ways of Seeing, 2012, 3-D Foundation Sculpture Park in Verbier, Switzerland; Coming Ashore, 2011, Berardo Collection Museum in Lisbon, Portugal, Afro Modern: Journeys Through the Black Atlantic, Tate Liverpool, 2010; Underconstruction, Hospital Julius De Matos, Lisbon, Portugal, 2009.
He is an Associate Lecturer, MA Curating, Chelsea College of Art and Design; a Research Fellow in urbanism at the Centre for Urban and Community Research, Goldsmiths, University of London, a Trustee of Third Text journal (2011-2-13) and an elected Honorary Member of the Franco-British Inter-governmental Council. He was on the Board of Yinka Shonibare MBE Guest Projects in 2010-2011. Goodwin is currently Curatorial Director of the 3-D Foundation Sculpture Park and International Residency Programme in Verbier, Switzerland. He has been invited to give keynote lectures and chair conferences at universities and museums around the world including: University of Sydney and Australia Council, Australia; Museum of Modern Art, Rio, Brazil; the Sorbonne in Paris; Danish Centre for Art and Interculture, Copenhagen, Federal Agency for Civic Education , Berlin; Stedelik Museum Bureau in Amsterdam, Tate Modern in London.