Southbank Centre x Plinth limited-editions by Hew Locke, Rashaad Newsome and Alisha B Wormsley

Southbank Centre has collaborated with Plinth to develop a series of new limited-editions by three artists from the Hayward Gallery’s In the Black Fantastic exhibition (29 June—18 September). Curated by Ekow Eshun, the exhibition brings together a group of artists who inventively recycle and reconfigure elements of folklore, myth, science fiction and the legacies of Afrofuturism. To celebrate, Southbank Centre and Plinth have published new limited-editions that similarly use fantastical elements to address racial injustice and explore alternative realities.

Inspired by Afrofuturist calls for Black people to claim their place, Alicia B Wormsley has created a limited-edition T-shirt titled ‘There are Black People in the Future’. In 2017, Wormsley placed these words on a billboard in East Liberty, a neighbourhood in Pittsburgh’s east end that has suffered gentrification; they have since been splashed across billboards across the US and beyond. ‘This phrase became my mantra’ says the artist. ‘What conversations could arise, what trauma could be addressed, and just seeing something so obvious stated in this social climate is reassuring to some–to me. It becomes magical, as fantastic as a prophecy.’ 

Rashaad Newsome’s ‘Assembly’ is a limited-edition T-shirt depicting the raised fist of Being, the name of an artificial intelligence created by the artist. A nonbinary voguer and educator, Being has appeared in site-specific installations also called Assembly, which combine performance and sculpture to explore ideas of reclaiming technology for Black empowerment.

Informed by the artist’s continuing interest in issues around imperial power and the legacy of colonialism, Hew Locke has created a limited-edition of 25 plate sets.

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