Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley is an artist and game developer who builds digital archives celebrating the lives and histories of her Black Trans ancestors.
Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley’s Haunting Alongside Our Shadows will be on display at QUAD from September 2021. Danielle’s work is based in historical happening’s, creating video-game inspired artworks that form part of her Black Trans archive to, as the artist states, “record the lives of Black Trans People in the present to imagine our existence in the past through immersive storytelling.”
For her exhibition at QUAD in Derby she presents an entirely new body of ambitious, digital and interactive artworks. Working alongside her community of Black Trans Femmes, she has created animated ghostly imaginings of her non-gendered ancestors, whose existence is recorded and presented in glyphs, song and motion-captured dancing bodies that will appear as phantom-like figures across the gallery.
The large-screen work Pirating Blackness (BlackTransSea.com) like most works in the exhibition, is an immersive video game. It encompasses Critical Fabulation – a term that references a writing methodology that combines historical and archival research with critical theory and fictional narrative. Pirating Blackness examines an alternative past where the ocean itself did not support the journey towards colonisation made across its surface.
Mixing horror with futuristic fiction, visitors will be guided through this multisensory exhibition and required to think of how their own stories and ancestral histories are interlinked with the histories of Black Trans people. The entire gallery space will react depending on where the viewer is and what they do. Unable to passively consume the art, the visitor instead must put in work to access the content in each artwork.
Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley comments:
“The identity of the gallery visitor controls how this exhibition will manifest around YOU – creating a literal haunting of the shadow that your own history and those your ancestors have cast.
YOU ARE ENTERING A BLACK TRANS SPACE
YOU'RE HISTORY AND IDENTITY WILL ENTER THIS SPACE WITH YOU
AND DETERMINE WHAT YOU HAVE ACCESS TO AND WHAT YOU DON'T.
TREAD WITH CARE.
THIS SPACE MAY NOT BE FOR YOU”
The exhibition is co-curated by Helen Starr, The Mechatronic Library, and Peter Bonnell, QUAD Senior Curator. Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley is QUAD’s International Digital Fellow 2020-2021. As QUAD Digital Fellow Danielle will continue to develop a series of talks and engagement events alongside their year-long fellowship and exhibition.
Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley: Haunting Alongside Our Shadows QUAD Gallery 25th September 2021 to 9th January 2022.
Exhibition events in QUAD include Exhibition Launch on Friday 24th September at 6pm, (Free). Artist Gallery Tour & Talk with Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley on Saturday 25th September at 2pm, (Free). Entrance to the Gallery is free, for more information please see: https://www.derbyquad.co.uk/HauntingAlongsideOurShadows
Notes to Editors
Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley Biography
Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley is an artist working predominantly in animation, sound, performance and Video Games to communicate the experiences of being a Black Trans person. Their practice focuses on recording the lives of Black Trans people, intertwining lived experience with fiction to imaginatively retell Trans stories. Spurred on by a desire to record of "History of Trans people both living and past" their work can often be seen as a Trans archive where Black Trans people are stored for the future. Throughout history, Black queer and Trans people have been erased from the archives. Because of this it is necessary not only to archive our existence, but also the many creative narratives we have used and continue to use to share our experiences. Danielle's work has been shown in Science Gallery, MU, Barbican, Tate, Les Urbains as well as being part of the BBZ Alternative Graduate Show at the Copeland Gallery. An online component of their work can often be found at: www.daniellebrathwaiteshirley.com
QUAD is Derby’s centre for art and film, a mixed arts venue based on the Market Place. QUAD is the city’s cultural hub with a three-screen cinema, an art gallery showing the best in contemporary visual arts, digital workshop spaces plus an award-winning Café bar. QUAD Opened to the public on 26th September 2008. QUAD has been at the heart of Derby’s cultural scene since it opened and is now internationally recognised for providing quality and excellence in the Arts. QUAD delivers an exciting, innovative and diverse programme which is popular with visitors of all ages, with a reputation in Photography, digital innovation & family friendly events. The venue organises Derby Film Festival, FORMAT International Photography Festival and Summer Nights Outdoor Film Festival. QUAD is a partnership between Derby City Council and Arts Council England. QUAD is open daily from 10am for more information visit: www.derbyquad.co.uk For further information on this event contact QUAD’s Marketing and Audience Development Manager Kathy Wilson on 01332 285422 / 07791441941 KathyW@derbyquad.co.uk
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