NEWS: Albert Adams: Paintings and Etchings @ University Gallery, Newcastle | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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The Sharpeville Massacre in 1960 was one of the most brutal and infamous incidents within South African apartheid. As between 5000 and 7000 black African protestors took to the streets of Sharpeville, police opened fire on the crowd, killing 69 people and injuring many more. Nowadays, the 21st March is a public holiday in South Africa, commemorating the incidents in Sharpeville and honouring human rights. Being recognised as a public holiday proves its impact on the nation, but there was an immediate impact too as many intellectuals left the country to settle elsewhere after the violent incident. One such person was artist Albert Adams, who left his native land to settle in London and bring his vision of living under the brutality of apartheid to a new audience.

Adams’ political awareness transferred into his earlier works, and was also reflected into his art in the post-Apartheid era. Bold, beautiful, and truly thought-provoking, his work is thoroughly modern and partially abstract but holds deep messages surrounding human rights. A year before his death in 2006, Adams wrote: “my work is based on my experience of South Africa as a vast and terrifying prison, an experience which even now, a decade after democracy, still haunts me.” This exhibition at Northumbria University’s Gallery is showing some of the artist’s most powerful and provocative works, and is a must for anyone interested in African or political art.

Albert Adams: Painting and Etchings comes to the Northumbria University’s Gallery, Newcastle between Saturday 30th May and Friday 10th July.

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