THE BLACK INTERIOR

Silkscreen prints on paper and accompanying audio sound work

"To some extent, I suppose one of the things that happens, talking about The Black Interior, it’s really about making the subjective into something objective. It’s about recognising the truth of these lived experiences, not just inside your head, but as realities that are being constantly made."
Ekow Eshun, Writer and Curator

The Black Interior silkscreen prints on paper and audio sound work are named after the poet Elizabeth Alexander's (2004) book of essays of the same title. Assembled in a darkened, meditative setting, the collection documents thirteen stories from four Black men who anonymously shared their everyday lived experiences of growing up in or currently living in Essex, England. The collection of prints forms part of The Blackness Series - an ongoing series of digital text works from 2016, documenting personal lived experiences alongside broader critical social commentary. The black font on black is intentionally arduous to read, serving as a reminder about who is visible and who is invisible in our fractured society and becomes fully legible to read as light reflects on the work. The audio edit contains abstracted and fragmented noise from the 1970s and 80s British television, which aired numerous prime-time programmes that were bluntly racist.

 

The prints and audio were exhibited in gallery two as part of the solo exhibition 'Othered in a region that has been historically Othered' at Focal Point Gallery, between 25 June to 18 Sept 2022. The exhibition was also shortlisted for the Freelands Awards 2021. 

 

Each print is 680 x 680 mm and is an edition of 1+1 AP. 

A mini print edition is also available from Focal Point Gallery - each print is 280 x 280 mm and is an edition of 3 + 1 AP.

Elsa James Work No. 32: The Fire Alarm, 2022 
Elsa James Work No. 31: The Sales Call, 2022
Elsa James Work No. 30: The Commuter Train, 2022 

Work No. 32: The Fire Alarm, 2022 
 

Work No. 31: The Sales Call, 2022
 

Work No. 30: The Commuter Train, 2022 
 

Elsa James Work No. 29: The Allotment, 2022
Elsa James Work No. 28: Primary School Comment, 2022
Elsa James Work No. 26: Mixed-Race Babies

Work No. 29: The Alloment, 2022 
 

Work No. 28: Primary School Comment, 2022

Work No. 26: Mixed-Race Babies, 2022 

Elsa James Work No. 25: Living Here, 2022 
Elsa James Work No. 24: The Pram, 2022
Elsa James Work No. 23: Outdoor Walks

Work No. 25: Living Here, 2022 

Work No. 24: The Pram, 2022

Work No. 23: Outdoor Walks, 2022 

Elsa James Work No. 22: The Leaving Do
Elsa James Work No. 20: The IT Guy, 2022
Elsa James Work No. 19: Dress Down Friday

Work No. 22: The Leaving Do, 2022 

Work No. 20: The IT Guy, 2022

Work No. 19: Dress Down Friday, 2022 

Elsa James Work No. 18: The Cafe, 2022 

Work No. 18: The Cafe, 2022 
 

Elsa James The Black Interior

Installation view, Focal Point Gallery

Elsa James The Black Interior

Installation veiw, Focal Point Gallery

The Black Interior was commissioned by Focal Point Gallery as part of the solo exhibition 'Othered in a region that has been historically Othered' (2022) and generously funded by Arts Council England, Focal Point Gallery and Southend-on-Sea City Council. The prints were typeset by Sue Withers and Andrew Moller, printed by K2 Screen, and photographed by Anna Lukala. The Black Interior Audio Edit was designed by Trevor Mathison and Elsa James. Audio installation by KSO Digital. The exhibition was curated by Elsa James.