Crowd standing inside Exhibition

My ONCA Story by MNamug

2019 Exhibiting Artist

I exhibited my collapsable sculpture “GrenFell: Hopeful Bodies” at ONCA in September 2019 in their HOPE exhibition.

My piece is very simple and made from square pieces of coloured acetate, joined together by floss giving it a fragile and floating appearance. It mimics the Tower’s shape whilst showing the fragility of human life. I wanted to give voice to the people who died in the fire, by naming them, therefore it features hand-written names of the victims of Grenfell Tower on certain squares and this is in memoriam to them as well as fixing in our minds their last known locations and the empty spaces that they have left behind.

This piece is a derivative of an earlier piece that I created whilst studying at Sussex University and which was first shown at a Riot Soup exhibition. My piece is important as it stands as it remembers the largely working-class and immigrant Grenfell Tower victims whose voices and concerns were unheard due to systematic negligence by the British government.

Working with ONCA has allowed me to gain confidence to approach the largely white-dominated spaces of the art world. ONCA also allowed me to understand curation, working together with me to ensure that my sculpture would be in the best location as it requires specific lighting and I also wanted visitors to be able to interact with it. I have made a network of new and exciting artists and I have been able to reach a wide range of people and make them stop and think.

Since my exhibition I have been finishing my Masters and creating new art. I hope that my ONCA story can inspire other Black creatives to not only create art but dare to approach spaces and submit their work to them. I also hope these spaces dare to diversify.