Before the Covid-19 pandemic hit, Johannesburg-based artist, Lilian Gray was to exhibit at the Fira Internacional d’Art de Barcelona. With the ban on international travel and gatherings due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Lilian has decided to exhibit her collection online.
For her series of paintings, Lilian draws on the founding artists that represent the Afrofuturism movement. Lilian believes in Greg Tate’s suggested definition of the movement as ‘an art form, practice, and methodology that allows black people to see themselves in the future despite a distressing past and present.’
The collection explores the theme of the light within us and the message that it is our responsibility to fight to reignite this light and to share it with the world. In this series of paintings, these internal lights are represented as halos around the beautiful female forms.
Lilian says, ‘One of the most powerful abilities we have as a human race is the capacity to drive social change. Throughout history, whether it was about gender equality, environmental awareness or resistance against apartheid, movements that promote change have been driven by passionate individuals. It is up to us, as artists, to represent each other, to support each other, and to celebrate our differences through shared humanity.’