NOW Gallery

Colour as Memory: Joy Gregory in Conversation with Kaia Charles


NOW Gallery continues its digital talk series exploring colour in contemporary artistic practice through the works of British artist Joy Gregory. Gregory’s manipulation of early photographic process and light alongside a contemplation of historical context makes her one of the most important Black British photographers making work today.

Curator Kaia Charles will lead a conversation surveying Gregory’s archives and current projects to better understand how colour as a subjective notion, impacts her photographic processes whilst underpinning her continuing exploration of social, historical and contemporary narratives.

About Joy Gregory

Joy Gregory is a graduate of Manchester Polytechnic and the Royal College of Art. She has developed a practice that is concerned with social and political issues with particular reference to history and cultural differences in contemporary society. Born in the UK to Jamaican parents she has always been fascinated by the impact of European history and colonisation on global perceptions of identity, memory, folk and traditional knowledge. As a photographer, she makes full use of the media from video, digital and analogue photography to Victorian print processes.

In 2002, Gregory received the NESTA Fellowship, which enabled her the time and the freedom to research for a major piece around language endangerment. The first of this series was the video piece Gomera, which premiered at the Sydney Biennale in May 2010. Joy has worked in art education for almost three decades and was an Honorary Research Associate at Slade School of Art [UCL] where she developed new work for the Diaspora Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale in 2017. More recently she has been commissioned by the Black Cultural Archives to produce a new work celebrating the achievements of prominent black British women and Autograph (ABP) to make new work in response to health well-being and the coronavirus pandemic.

She is the recipient of numerous awards and has exhibited all over the world showing in many festivals and biennales. In 2019 she was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Photographic Society. Her work is in many collections including; the UK Arts Council Collection, Victoria and Albert Museum, Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane, Australia, and Yale British Art Collection. She currently lives and works in London where she teaches Fine Art Photography at Camberwell School of Art, University of the Arts London.


Image above: From the series Alongside Matron Bell(2020) courtesy Joy Gregory

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