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A UK Black Lives Matter poster campaign commissioned by Firstsite, which was initially conceived in response to the public spectacle of George Floyd's torture and murder in 2020, is now showing in the gallery as part of a small group exhibition of artists who have received support from the Firstsite Collector’s Group Bursary Award. The exhibition will be on display until 10 Nov 2024.

The A2 print is an edition of 100 and available to purchase in the Firstsite shop. 


Posted: 23.05.2024

Liberation in Four Movements is a group exhibition curated by Ingrid Jones at the Art Museum at the University of Toronto showing from 1 May - 27 July 2024. Living in the Wake of the Lust for Sugar (2023) and Goat Curry and Rap (2010) will be shown alongside works by Erika DeFreitas, Michaëlle Sergile, Onyeka Igwe, Amir George, Ja’Tovia Gary and Donna James.

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Posted: 03.04.2024

'Lies Myths and Truths' (2006) is included in Acts of Creation: On Art and Motherhood, a major Hayward Gallery Touring Exhibition curated by Hettie Judah in partnership with Arnolfini, Midlands Art Centre, Millennium Gallery and Dundee Contemporary Arts. The exhibition features over 100 artworks, including works by Renee Cox, Marlene Dumas, Tracey Emin, Chantel Joffe, Claudette Johnson, Mary Kelly, Wangechi Muti, Laure Prouvost, Paula Rego, Nancy Spero, Barbara Walker, Caroline Walker, and Carrie Mae Weems.


Janine Antoni, 2038 (2000). © Janine Antoni

Posted: 13.03.2024

An intimate durational performance lasting twenty-four minutes was held at the Atlantic Worlds gallery inside the National Maritime Museum on Thursday evening. Titled 'Gestures Towards Telling A New Narrative', and featuring sounds from Irvin Pascal, the performance acted as a symbolic farewell before the gallery temporarily closes for phase one of a new interpretation that aims to resonate and connect more positively with the descendants and those impacted by the transatlantic slave trade.

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Posted: 18.02.2024

To mark the end of my residency in Nigeria, G.A.S. Lagos organised a retrospective evening that featured a screening of 'Othered in a region that has been historically Othered' (2022), followed by a discussion with my fellow resident, curator, TK Smith.

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Posted: 18.12.2023

As part of a Developing Your Creative Practice, Arts Council England grant I received in May 2023, I will be spending a month-long residency at the Guest Artists Space (G.A.S.) Yinka Shonibare Foundation in Lagos, Nigeria, to research and develop ideas for a new body of work.

Read more about the residency here.

G.A.S Lagos resdiency

Posted: 20.11.2023


I will be featuring in this extraordinary new documentary about JMW Turner's paintings, scheduled to broadcast on Sky Arts on the 6th September at 9 pm, with repeat showings later in the week and at the weekend.

Click here to view the trailer

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Posted: 05.09.2023


Live interview on the Dotun Adebayo show, broadcast on Sun 13 Aug, discussing the new film 'Living in the Wake of the Lust for Sugar', which premieres on 1 Sept 2023 at the Museum of London Docklands.

Click on the arrow to play the 16 minutes interview


Posted: 15.08.2023


A new film made in response to the London Sugar & Slavery Gallery at the Museum of London Docklands, which premieres on 1 September 2023

Elsa James Museum of London Docklands

Posted: 18.07.2023

As part of the Windrush 75th anniversary, 'Ode to David Lammy MP' (2022) will be installed at the Bernie Grant Art Centre in Tottenham, David Lammy's constituency and will remain on display until 30 October 2023.


Posted: 19.06.2023

'Lie Myths and Truths' (2006) will be screened at 'Re-Naissance' curated by Hettie Judah, for an online exhibition hosted by Unit London about making art and making children. I will also be participating in an in-person panel discussion at Unit London, as part of the London Gallery Weekend programme on 3 Jun 23

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Posted: 23.05.2023

In 2020 I put forward the names of Hester Woodley and Princess Dinubolu, the two women I honoured in the 'Forgotten Black Essex' (2018) project to be worthy of receiving commemorative plaques. The women have made history again by becoming the first two women of colour to receive Blue Plaques in the county of Essex!


Posted: 28.03.2023

Work No. 13
David Monk BBc Essex
BBC Hester Woodley

Hester Woodly and Princess Dinubolu from the 'Forgotten Black Essex' (2018) project will this month become the first two women of colour to receive Blue Plaques in the county.

Princess Dinubolu

Posted: 13.03.2023

'Ode to David Lammy MP' (2022), a black neon text work commissioned by Focal Point Gallery, will be shown in 'Rites of Passage' a debut group exhibition curated by Associate Director Péjú Oshin at Gagosian, Britannia Street Gallery, 16 March to 29 April 2023

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Posted: 14.02.2023

One of the artists included in the National Portrait Gallery acquisition of a historic group photograph taken by renowned photographers Eddie Otchere and Charlie Phillips. The Black Cultural Archives' Interim Director, Lisa Anderson, who commissioned the photograph, was inspired by the 1958 iconic photograph, 'A Great Day in Harlem'. Nearly ninety established and emerging Black British artists gathered to celebrate 'A Great Day in Brixton'---Britain's current Black Art Movement, marking the 40th anniversary of the first Black British art convention.


Posted: 30.01.2023

Five silkscreen prints from The Black Interior and The Black Interior Audio (2022) will feature in the group exhibition at Art Exchange, 17 Jan to 17 Feb 2023

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Posted: 13.01.2023

Invited artist to join Theaster Gates' first international Black Artists Retreat (B.A.R.) outside of the US convening at Black Chapel Serpentine Pavilion 2022, bringing together a global cohort of Black artists, creatives and scholars in London.

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Posted: 11.10.2022

Showing a screenprint in this three-day festival of exhibition, discussions and performances to mark the launch of Hettie Judah's book 'How Not to Exclude Artist Mothers (and other parents)' and also taking part in the panel discussion '(Re)Entering the Artworld' chaired by Hettie Judah at TJ Boulting Gallery, Fitzrovia, 29 Sept - 1 Oct 2022

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Posted: 16.09.2022

Beecroft Art Gallery, Southend Museums, has acquired The Black Essex Flag (2019). "The Flag is the first work by a Black woman artist to be acquired by the Beecroft Art Gallery, marking an important step towards diversifying its permanent collection" ArtFund. (Image: Tessa Hallman and Southend Museums)


Posted: 31.08.2022

The 15-minute video talks through the solo exhibition's multiple aspects, which includes performance in a three-part film installation, original sound works alongside a neon text piece, spoken word poetry and a new series of prints.


Posted: 17.08.2022

Live radio broadcast interview on the Woman's Hour programme with presenter Anita Rani, talking about identity in Essex as a black woman and the solo exhibition at Focal Point Gallery.

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Posted: 18.07.2022

Black Girl Essex: Here We Come, Look We Here (2019) showing at Floor Five Collective's first screening of moving images from five POC practitioners, whose works centre around speculation; destabilising notions of imposed reality, race, gender; and recalling lost histories. 


Posted: 01.07.2022

Online interview with writer and curator Ekow Eshun about the solo exhibition at Focal Point Gallery

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Posted: 27.06.2022

The Freelands Foundation Main Advisory Committee has shortlisted forthcoming solo exhibition 'Othered in a region that has been historically Othered' at Focal Point Gallery, as one of the six applicants to go through the final selection process


Posted: 11.09.2021

'Othered in a region that has been historically Othered' Focal Point Gallery, 26 June to 18 September 2022

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Posted: 11.09.2021

Internationally renowned artists Hew Locke, Tai Shani and Michelle Williams Gamaker have awarded 'Black Girl Essex, Here We Come, Look We Here' (2019) to be part of the 2021 programme and touring exhibition


Posted: 09.07.2021


A new text by Jon Blackwood, published by Firstsite with Metal Southend, will be launched at Estuary Festival with an in-conversation on 10 June. The text discusses two seminal works made between 2006-10 and studio practice from 2018 to date. A digital copy can be downloaded free by clicking below; softback copies are available to purchase from Firstsite and Focal Point Gallery shops

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Posted: 09.06.2021

The Government Art Collection committee has acquired three screenprints from The Blackness Series as part of Art X-UK--- a new permanent collection

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Posted: 31.05.2021

'Walking in the Wake' a new film produced working with Michael McMillan and Dubmorphology artists Trevor Mathison and Gary Stewart, and curated as part of Estuary 2021 online opening weekend.

Michael McMillan

Posted: 24.05.2021

Permanent artwork and procession culminating from workshops at The White House on the Becontree Estate with Barking and Dagenham-based foster carers and children in care for the Becontree Centenary Programme in August 2021

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Posted: 01.03.2021

Black Girl Essex: Here We Come, Look We Here: Screening and In-Conversation with Sepake Angiama, Artistic Director, Iniva and Jon Blackwood, curator, lecturer and writer, Firstsite online. Wed 3 Feb 2021, 6.30 pm 


Posted: 15.02.2021

Contributed self-portrait drawing for the 30th-anniversary commemorative tea towel, which is available to purchase as Edition #100 of Focal Point Gallery’s celebrated Printed Matter collection. Each original portrait was also donated to be sold in a fundraising opportunity to support the gallery and its programme.

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Posted: 01.11.2020

Selected co-curator for the Festival Opening Weekend Online Live Broadcast Programme

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Posted: 01.11.2020

Contributing artist for a new collection of urgent reflections published by Metal and the Live Art Development Agency

Posted: 30.10.2020

A national collaboratively-produced alternative MA programme delivered by five arts organisations to support ten artists across the UK

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Posted: 01.09.2020

Commissioned to collaborate with foster families at The White House on the Becontree Estate in Dagenham to engage with the identity of place and explore what makes people feel at home from Sept 2020 to March 2021


Posted: 10.09.2020

Artist selected for month-long residency focusing on new research, 1-31 August 2020


Posted: 30.07.2020

New collaboration between the Centre for Place Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University and writers, artists and film-makers 

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Posted: 17.07.2020

Panellist with Marc Garrett (Co-director, Furtherfield), Cassie Thornton (Artist) and Tomislav Medak (PhD researcher), RadicalxChange Annual Conference online, New York, 19 June 2020

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Posted: 30.06.2020

Art Historian, curator, and writer, Chloe Austin talks to Katy Hessel about 'BlackGirl Essex: Here We Come, Look We Here' (2019) and Love in Social Practice (2019) for her takeover of the Great Women Artists Instagram account

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Posted: 20.06.2020

With artists R.M Sanchez-Camus and Sian Willams, 17 June 2020


Posted: 30.06.2020

A new online series of conversations during Covid-19 inspired by the ProFest Campaign, 11 May 2020


Posted: 11.05.2020


Due to current public health concerns relating to the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Elsa James Artist

Posted: 19.03.2020

New vinyl wall text installation and 'The Black Essex Flag' in The Agency of Visible Womxn exhibition, Beecroft Art Gallery, 8 March to 31 May 2020

Elsa James Artist

Posted: 08.03.2020

PEER Gallery, 21 Feb 2020

Elsa James Artist

Posted: 02.03.2020


Firstsite Gallery, Sat 21 Mar 2020

Elsa James Artist

Posted: 02.03.2020

Climate Emergency inter-generational women and girls project with Sue Mayo for Magic Me, January - August 2020   

Magic Me

Posted: 31.01.2020

Arts Council Collection National Partners Programme website feature, 14 November 2019

Elsa James Artist

Posted: 18.11.2019


The Dave Monk drivetime show interview on Princess Dinubolu, 17 October 2019

BBC Essex | Elsa James Artist

Posted: 21.10.2019

Short film about the Black Girl Essex residency and exhibition, 25 September 2019

Elsa James Artist

Posted: 25.09.2019

Included in a new portrait photography project to challenge the Essex girl stereotype, August 2019

Elsa James Artist

Posted: 01.09.2019

New work coming to Arts Council Collection National Partners Exhibition, Firstste Gallery,11 October 2019 - 12 January 2020  

Elsa James Artist

Posted: 01.08.2019

Exhibition of fims and launch of a new residency at Firstsite Gallery, 22 June - 22 September 2019  

Elsa James Artist

Posted: 21.06.2019


Panel discussion hosted by Deborah Frances-White with local writer Sadie Hasler and artistic director Colette Bailey, Cliffs Pavilion, Southend, 12 May 2019    

Elsa James Artist

Posted: 20.05.2019

Part show, part discussion with Scottee & friends, The Albany, 11 May 2019

Elsa James Artist

Posted: 29.04.2019

Commissioned blog, a-n The Artist Information Company, 25 April 2019

Elsa James Artist

Posted: 25.04.2019

Circle of Blackness (Part 1) for Time Portals exhibition, Furtherfield Gallery, 9 May - 27 Oct 2019

Elsa James Artist

Posted: 29.04.2019

Elsa James Artist

Posted: 08.04.2019


University of East London,19 Feb 2019

Elsa James Artist

Posted: 26.02.2019

Elsa James Artist

Posted: 01.03.2019

Artist nominated to take part in Joshua Sofaer's radical experimental workshop for Axisweb, 30 Nov 2018

Elsa James Artist

Posted: 01.11.2018

Artist invited to devise a lab for the Summit, Site Gallery, Sheffield, 1- 2 November 2018

Elsa James Artist

Posted: 18.10.2018

Who am I? Identity and Belonging, Focal Point Gallery,13 October 2018

Focal Point Gallery | Elsa James Artist

Posted: 01.10.2018

Forgotten Black Essex showing on Big Screen Southend, 6 - 31 Oct 2018

Elsa James Artist

Posted: 01.10.2018

Special Launch & Film Preview at Twenty One, Southend, 16 July 2018

Elsa James Artist

Posted: 01.07.2018

Focal Point Gallery publication launch, 30 June 2018

Elsa James Artist | Radical Essex

Posted: 01.06.2018

With artist Ingrid Pollard and historians Caroline Bressey and Gemma Romain, 9 May 2018

Elsa James Artist

Posted: 16.04.2018

Inspired by Alexandra Leykauf 'Caprona' exhibition for the Start schools programme, 16 - 20 April 2018

Elsa James Artist

Posted: 16.04.2018

Artist commissioned to co-lead Magic Me project in partnership with Metal Southend, April - July 2018

Elsa James Artist

Posted: 01.03.2018

Selected to create one of the hundred centenary banners for Artichoke Processions, April - June 2018

Elsa James Artist

Posted: 30.03.2018

New t-shirt design for a pop-up gallery at Essex Book Festival, Firstsite, 4 Mar 2018

Elsa James Artist

Posted: 24.02.2018

Forgotten Black Essex, Chalkwell Hall, 22 Feb 2018

Elsa James Artist | Princess Dinublou

Posted: 12.02.2018

Peter Holmes Sunday Breakfast Show, 18 Feb 2018

On air at 06.40hrs and 07:40hrs

BBC Essex | Elsa James Artist

Posted: 26.02.2018


Video screening: Goat Curry & Rap (2010), 17 Feb to 14 April 2018

Elsa James Artist

Posted: 12.02.2018

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