Exploring Black History with N. Ronke October is Black History Month here in the UK. To celebrate the occasion, artist N. Ronke will be sharing works - new and old - each week. N. Ronke is a Narrative Printmaker and Digital artist whose work predominantly focuses on Horror and Folklore. N. Ronke was a featured artist in our 2020 Tate Exchange. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, the event itself was cancelled, so we are thrilled to be able to work with N. Ronke again on this new commission. Throughout October, we will be sharing work chosen by N. Ronke relating to the theme of Black History. They will take us on a tour of overlooked and oft-forgotten figures from British Black history through intricate and dynamic new lino prints and their own thorough research. Week One Week Two Week Three Week One To kick things off this week, though, we're looking back to N. Ronke's 2018 work, 'White People Problems,' from the comic 'Missing Panels,' which examines how a lack of representation contributes to the invisibility of needs, concerns, and mental health in BAME communities. Missing Panels was commissioned by Esther De Dauw and Leicester University. By combining academic research and comics, the project aimed to bridge the divide between academia and the artist community and raise awareness about the underrepresentation of BAME communities. This project explores the intertwined relationship between the British health care system and N. Ronke’s father, a doctor, and his view of mental health as a Nigerian man. A downloadable version of the image descriptions is available at the bottom of this page. White People Problems, from Missing Panels (2018) You can read a Microsoft Word version of the image descriptions here. Week 2 This week, N. Ronke introduces us to Cattelena of Almondsbury ( - 1625). Cattelena is one of the earliest documented ‘independent’ Black women living in England. Although her life wasn’t atypical of a single woman of the time in rural England, the significance of Cattelena being a Black woman living not in bondage but as a free human in the late sixteenth century – until her death in 1625 – should not be understated. As written in her probate, her most valuable possession was her cow, which was not uncommon for the time as it allowed her to make, sell, and live off the milk and butter produced by the cow. Cattelena’s existence shows us that Black people have always been interwoven into the history of Britain as free and independent people *before* the establishment of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. Week 3 We're halfway through October, but N. Ronke still has a few more works to share with us. This week, we're looking at Fanny Eaton! Fanny Eaton has commonly been referred to as the forgotten beauty of the Pre-Raphaelite era. A Jamaican-born Black woman who was lorded for her beauty by world-renowned artists in the middle of an era that pushed the idea of white supremacy in beauty via colonisation. Fanny was not just a model who challenged 19th century perspectives of race and beauty in art, she was also a working-class mother of ten who was born only a year after emancipation and died in the early 20th century. Her struggles have been romanticised with paint, leaving us with the faded impression of the life of a working-class Black woman whose life was likely more impacted by her station than her race.