This month, in dedication to Black History Month, an artist will debut his inaugural collection of paintings with an exclusive exhibition display at Gallery@OXO, OXO Tower Wharf on October 21-25.
Xavi Art, who created his work as a way of escapism and therapy throughout the global lockdown of this year, combines the contemporary and the current with the artistically historic, where abstract cubism meets popular culture.
A British-raised, black millennial with Sierra Leonean and Martinican heritage, Xavi Art’s unique pieces reflect his lived experiences and world views on subject matters ranging from black history and self-discovery, to faith, women empowerment and mental health.
Xavi Art’s work also references individuals, principles and lessons that have shaped his professional success and personal growth.
With the pressures of isolation brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic and struggles of racial injustice sparked by the death of George Floyd, Xavi Art took to painting to express himself.
He says he is intentional in using his platform to shine light on narratives that disproportionately affect the black community and go un-checked by society.
His upcoming exhibition will raise funds for Black Minds Matter.
“Members of the BAME communities, myself included, often feel marginalised and find themselves at a disadvantage when it comes to life and professional opportunities,” said Xavi Art.
“The physiological and physical traumas we are consistently exposed to have long-term damaging effects, yet we seldom get the chance to talk about these deeply penetrating feelings.
“The work Black Minds Matter does is critical in my point of view, critical in starting to address a colossal problem that has plagued my community for far too long.
“From that perspective the collaboration was a no brainer.”
Agnes Mwakatuma, co-founder of Black Minds Matter UK said: “Our focus is in making mental health topics relevant and accessible to all Black people in the UK by providing free 12 week courses of therapy.
“We are continuing to rely on amazing fundraisers such as Xavi Art to support the 2600 people on our waiting list.”
Driven to inspire and educate the younger generations of his local and closely held community, Xavi Art will be delivering an interactive and educational workshop titled I can to schoolchildren from a local primary school.
Students will be invited to recreate a Xavi Art piece with their own flair ahead of the exhibition launch, to be displayed at the gallery.
Separately, sixth form finance students from Xavi Art’s South London alumni schools, Bacons College and St Francis Xavier College will be invited to participate in a relaxed yet informative career panel discussion called The Blueprint.
Please make cheques payable to “MSI Media Limited” and send by post to South London Press, Unit 112, 160 Bromley Road, Catford, London SE6 2NZ
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has encouraged everyone in the country who can afford to do so to buy a newspaper, and told the Downing Street press briefing recently: “A free country needs a free press, and the newspapers of our country are under significant financial pressure”.
So if you have enjoyed reading this story, and if you can afford to do so, we would be so grateful if you can buy our newspaper or make a donation, which will allow us to continue to bring stories like this one to you both in print and online.