Installation view, Utopias, 2017, Romily Alice

It Takes a Village: New exhibition at Humber Street Gallery

International artists respond to identity and equality in new exhibition at Humber Street Gallery.

Humber Street Gallery’s latest exhibition, opening on 2 June, brings together a collection of works by international artists whose practice explores the themes of identity, equality, power and social change.

The first exhibition by the gallery’s new Senior Curator, John Hefferman tells us more about what the exhibition is about and why he chose to explore this topic.

This is the first exhibition you’ve curated at Humber Street Gallery. Why did you decide to explore these themes?

At a time when topics of identity, equality and social change are being widely discussed and challenged in the press and through social media, It Takes a Village will investigate how artists are engaging in this conversation through subtle means or acts of political intent.

Reflecting on the ideas of congregation and the power of public assembly, I wanted to  present diverse practices which respond to ideas around the often-politicised subjects of identity and equality.

Which artists are taking part in the exhibition?

It Takes a Village will feature works by artists including Romily Alice (UK), Derek Alexis Coard (USA), Tessa Lynch (UK), Lakwena Maciver (UK), Hardeep Pandhal (UK) and Paul Yore (AUS).

What should people expect?

This group show will bring together a rich and broad range of practices including neon works, textile, video, drawing and installation. Set across the three gallery spaces, the exhibition will also include a series of soap box discussions, talks, screenings and performances that will take place throughout the duration of the exhibition.

There are three female and three male artists in the exhibition. How do they each join in this conversation? 

Artist Romily Alice, explores modern society’s relationship with looking, being looked at, pleasure and the body through her neon work, while Lakwena Maciver responds to the exhibition’s themes by creating a new installation work in the form of a stage.  This piece, which will show Maciver’s distinct colour palette and commitment to vibrant motifs, will act as a backdrop to the programme of performance and debate.

Tessa Lynch will look at motherhood and her practice as a contemporary artist. The artist will also hold a print workshop at Hull School of Art & Design with a group of local artist-mothers, the outcomes of which will be displayed in the exhibition.

It Takes a Village includes over 30 drawings from American artist Derrick Alexis Coard, who died earlier this year. Many of the works are part of a series of portraits of bearded black men and Coard said of his work that it is “… a form of testimonial where black men can be seen in a more positive and righteous light.”

Paul Yore and Hardeep Pandhal use personal experiences to deal with complex issues around representation and iconography.  Yore will present several technicolour collages and tapestries, while Pandhal’s work will range from video to textile.

The exhibition opens on Saturday 2 June until Sunday 15 July 2018.

For opening times and to discover more visit