Melanin Modalities in Fashion and Culture aims to display black influence in fashion through design and art pieces using a multi-sensory experience that includes sound, scent and, of course, visual to immerse the visitor within the space.
The walls are painted black in response to the stereotypical ‘white cube’ aesthetic associated with traditional galleries that often excludes black voices from their exhibitions and spaces.
Student activities co-ordinator at the London College of Fashion, UAL, Sachan Shanli Williams, said: “The aim for Melanin Modalities was to celebrate, educate, and connect the LCF community to new cultural identities, past, present, and future in the context of fashion.
“Through this multidisciplinary/interactive exhibition, our audiences are able to explore culture and identity from a creator/curator perspective, seeing through the lens of others’ expanding knowledge and imagination, which in turn we hope informs change and sets blueprints for the future of the industry.”
Dr Leila Nassereldein , who curated the exhibition space, said: “Melanin Modalities invites visitors to question the mythological, pristine sterility of the ‘white cube’, within which art is most predominantly viewed today.
“Through its jet-black walls; its installation of clustered, suspended flat works which, through the precise positioning of spotlights, cast variegated shadows upon the floor; its use of vanilla scent and an original soundtrack produced by Sun Runners å¥³ç¥ã®æäººé.
“Melanin Modalities brings to bear, for the global majority of which this exhibition celebrates, a new and experimental chamber of aesthetics which subverts neutrality, as an historical construct for the viewing of art.”
Artist and performer Matthew Noel attended the exhibition as a guest of the cultural programming team.
He said: “I thoroughly enjoyed this exhibition. I was delighted to meet some of the designers and artists that had work to share.
“Melanin Modalities has brought light to so many different extensions of black culture and community. I loved it!”
The exhibition runs at London College of Fashion, UAL, until October 22.
It is among a wider programme of events held by the University of Arts London during Black History Month, including The Art of Joy exhibition at Koppel X Gallery.
The exhibition celebrates and highlights the talents of the black community at UAL. The work on display seeks to reflect the ways in which joy is expressed through artistic exploration and aims to give space for artists to move away from depictions of the black experience centred purely around trauma.
The Art of Joy exhibition runs at the Koppel X Gallery until October 31.