Imperial College London

‘Striking portraits’ enhance College’s art collection

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Blythe Gallery

Artworks commissioned as part of the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Portrait Prize have gone on initial display in the Blythe Gallery.

The works, commissioned to help address a lack of diversity in the art displayed on College campuses, are the result of a collaboration between Imperial and the Royal College of Art. 

Everyone should be able to see themselves represented in the art on our walls and in our public spaces. Professor Sian Harding

The Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Portrait Prize awarded £2,000 to six RCA students and alumni to create and display works representing the Imperial community. The prize had a particular focus on works that depict members of Imperial’s Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) community by artists that also identify as BAME. 

The prize is one of a number of initiatives being rolled out by the Imperial Artworks Group, which was commissioned by the President and Provost to consider how Imperial can better reflect its staff, students and alumni through its art. 

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The portraits are initially on exhibition now until 27 January at Imperial’s Blythe Gallery on the South Kensington campus. Acknowledging that many staff are currently not working on campus, a second exhibition and formal launch will be planned for early April (if COVID-19 restrictions allow). 

Professor Sian Harding said: “Everyone should be able to see themselves represented in the art on our walls and in our public spaces.  The Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Portrait Prize is one way that we are trying to achieve this. We are proud to display these striking portraits, which will enhance the College’s permanent art collection for years to come.”   

“It is important that we do not consider this an isolated project, but an ongoing effort to do better for our whole community. Our important work continues.” 

The portraits 

As part of the process, the selected RCA artists interviewed and spoke to members of the Imperial community as inspiration for their work. 

The works on display are: 

  • ‘Belonging’ by Emily Moore 
  • ‘Fly in the landscape: Looking at the noise’ by Miya Jazmin-Browne - an art piece representing the work of Dr Crystal Vincent, Faculty EDI Coordinator, Natural Sciences 
  • ‘Kailash’ by Tami Soji-Akinyemi – a portrait of Kailash Ramlaul, Research Assistant Faculty of Medicine. 
  • ‘Gabriella’ by Tami Soji-Akinyemi - a portrait of Gabriella Gordon-Kerr, Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Advisor at Imperial College. 
  • ‘Margaret’ by Alexander Ikhide - a portrait of Margaret Lawrence, Engagement Officer Administration. 
  • ‘Sarah’ by Alexander Ikhide - a portrait of Dr Sarah Essilfie-Quaye, Project manager. Research strategy team. Faculty of Medicine. 
  • Who should sit here by Sichan Wang – an artwork reflecting on the stereotypes and underrepresention of Asian women. 

Reporters

Nikita Rathod

Nikita Rathod
Communications Division

Deborah Evanson

Deborah Evanson
Communications Division

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Contact details

Tel: +44 (0)20 7594 3921
Email: d.evanson@imperial.ac.uk

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