Work No. 4: Hey, we’re over here!

Elsa James (1968 - )

silkscreen print on paper


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  • About the work
    Country: UK
    City: London
    Place: Government Art Collection
    This is one of three digital text works in the Collection from Elsa James’s ongoing The Blackness Series, started in 2016. Based in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, James’s work focuses on opinions held towards people of African-Caribbean heritage and the stereotyping of Essex women. The Blackness Series documents her personal lived experience alongside a 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, becoming fully legible when light reflects on the work.
  • About the artist
    Elsa James is a British African-Caribbean conceptual artist and activist living in Essex since 1999. She studied as a mature student at Chelsea College of Arts, University of the Arts London (2006–10) and Goldsmiths College, University of London (2013–15). Her social practice includes advocating for the inclusion of marginalised voices and communities in the arts sector. In 2015, she was commissioned by Southend-based charity CAST, to research the asylum and refugee community in Southend. Since her graduate show in 2010, she has had solo exhibitions at Chalkwell Hall, Metal Culture, Essex (2018); and Firstsite, Essex (2019) – which followed a residency supported by Arts Council England. In 2021, James obtained further research and development funding from Arts Council England for her ‘THIS IS ESSEX’ project. She is a member of ‘Girl Gang’ (since 2014) – a UK wide group of womxn artists utilising performative actions to challenge expectations in public spaces. She is also a member of the feminist activist collective the ‘Essex Girls Liberation Front’ (since 2017) based in Southend.
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  • Details
    Work No. 4: Hey, we’re over here!
    Series Title
    Number 1 in an edition of 3, plus 1 artist's proof
    silkscreen print on paper
    height: 75.0 cm; width: 75.0 cm; depth: 5.0 cm
    Purchased from the artist March 2021, through the Art XUK project 2020-21
    verso left: '1/3' verso right: signed by the artist, dated 2021
    The artist; from whom purchased by UK Government Art Collection, 18 March 2021
    GAC number