An interview with
Ludlow E. Bailey
Global Cultural Curator, Art Broker, Art Advisor, Producer, Writer.
"I always approach the curatorial process from a historical and cultural perspective".
To me, "art is culture."
Sonia Wignall You are known as a Global Cultural Curator. Why the title AfroSoul? What is the meaning behind the AfroSoul Exhibition?
Ludlow Bailey AfroSoul is an expression of African Consciousness in materiality, and as a curator, I am very interested in using art as a tool to unpack the metaphysical and spiritual infrastructure of black culture. Africans in the Diaspora are currently producing some of the world’s alluring and exciting contemporary visual art
SW The AfroSoul exhibition has some outstanding pieces. Describe the artwork that is in the show
LB The AfroSoul exhibition will feature the works of over 20 contemporary black artists whose work is re-writing the narratives of the black experience and examining African spirituality, black identity, resilience, and the global African empowerment movement.
Although the mediums used to create the art, and the style of each artist is different, I selected these particular artists based on the power of their creative aesthetics, and transformative energy.
Unfortunately, there were so many prolific works of art to select from, I limited the selection to the design of the exhibition. However, I consider all the works of African Diaspora Artists that I have seen over the years to be powerful and exceptional.
SW Your "Roots of the Spirit" Exhibition , ( Jan-Feb, 2020) was a widely successful art show and considered one of the most comprehensive Contemporary African Diaspora art exhibitions in South Florida. How will the AfroSoul exhibition be different, and what will be the takeaway message?
LB "Roots of the Spirit" was a deeply spiritual curatorial process and exhibition for me. It was very multi-disciplinary in that it included Contemporary African Diaspora paintings, sculptures, installations, ceramics, art performance, puppetry, video, film, dance, and music.
2020, however has evolved into a profound and socially complex year. The emergence of the "new normal" as a result of COVID-19. The murder of George Floyd, and the documented, perpetual police brutality against African American males, ignited unprecedented response to racial injustice and systematic racism from within and outside the African Diaspora art community.
The elevation and celebration of Black culture are acts of resilience and rebellion against racial discrimination. The resilience movement is an energy that can be seen in the AfroSoul Exhibition. This energy is in the soul of the people of color globally and reflected in the exhibition art. It is organic. It cannot be dismissed, penetrated, denied, or ignored. AfroSoul is in part the natural energy that emanates from melanated beings.
SW Your own educational process has been rich, global, and diverse. You are currently the Executive Director of a series of "Educational Summits", the most recent was featured in a global online paper. Share with us the connection you see and experience between education and African Diaspora Art?
LB "Art is culture, culture is our identity". Education starts with identity. Children of color must understand their lives through the historical perspective of their identity and the global rich contribution of the people of the African Diaspora to the world, even during their enslavement. Contribution to medicine, law, education, culture, arts, fashion, music, engineering, technology, farming, language arts, and so much more. Some of the great minds and innovators of the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries were and are people of color.
This level of historical teaching is not the standard of our school academic curricula, so many of our children of color are not taught the richness of their legacy. We are people of enormous gifts and talents in many areas.
I personally have a responsibility and vested interest, as a parent, writer, and global curator to give knowledge to the educational process of the children of the African Diaspora both through the arts and technology.
Sonia M. Wignall is CEO of Diaspora Global PR, and a Cultural Writer.