The inspiration behind A is for Artist:
Final sequence in Come Back Africa (1959):
I was transfixed on how the filmmaker was able to capture the hardship of black South Africans in Johannesburg so beautifully. Although I love Miriam Makeba’s iconic performance and its soundtrack, what really moved me was the ending, after Vinah’s (lady pictured) husband is killed tragically, she walks through the slums in a headstrong manner but her heart is heavy. I wanted to evoke the simple nature of walking as a form of self-care; it can carry a lot of emotion.
Julie Dash’s Four Women (1975):
An illustration from Erno Goldfinger (1944):
My work relates a lot to space, psychogeography and all. Although A is for Artist may seem a little different, it is in tune with my past works: In Ur Eye, Tower XYZ and Street 66. I don’t have much of a fascination with tower blocks, but growing up, all I saw was negative imagery of black people who live in London’s ‘ghettoes’. What about the people who are trying to get away from it in a way that is authentic which doesn’t involve drugs and crime?