Gucci and Ronan McKenzie Celebrate Black Women Artists in New London Show

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Collective Processes
Courtesy HOME by Ronan McKenzie and Gucci

Collective Processes, which runs at Gucci Circolo Shoreditch this month, will spotlight 15 multidisciplinary artists from McKenzie’s HOME network

Earlier this year, Gucci opened a temporary retail space in east London. The venue, called Gucci Circolo Shoreditch, was launched in October as a striking, multisensory showroom for the fashion house’s special collections, as well as for events. But now, only two months after opening its doors, the space is entering its “final phase”.

Before closing, Gucci Circolo Shoreditch will play host to Collective Processes: a group exhibition celebrating a group of Black women artists. The show is curated by photographer Ronan McKenzie, who runs her own multidisciplinary creative space, HOME, in north London. Collective Processes aims to spotlight 15 of the most impressive and talented artists from McKenzie’s network. “All of the contributing artists are all part of HOME’s wider community,” the photographer tells AnOther, “through applying to one of our grants, residencies, or open calls, or being an active part of HOME.”

The exhibition features a variety of creative practices, including photography, sculpture, textiles, videography and painting. Each piece relates to one of two major themes; the first being “histories”, and the second being “contemporary observations of culture, heritage and identity”. Artists include handwoven textile designer Lorelle Aboagye, painter and printmaker Sandra Daniel and set designer Tonique Sewell, among others.

Collective Processes marks the end of a three-part partnership between Gucci and HOME. Their first collaboration was a similar project focused on uplifting Black British designers – including A-COLD-WALL*, Ahluwalia, Martine Rose and Bianca Saunders – while their second was the announcement of a Black Women Artists Grant, to help marginalised UK artists develop their works-in-progress. Once this show finishes, however, so will Gucci Circolo Shoreditch. “It’s been a very special experience to bring together such a broad range of artists in such an important space,” says McKenzie, “to close a year that none of us will forget.” Here, she talks more about the development process, and her overall hopes for the exhibition.

AnOther Magazine: Please can you introduce this exhibition?

RM: HOME is proud to present the group exhibition, Collective Processes, to the Gucci Circolo Shoreditch space. These 15 artists represent an impressive breadth of talent and creative practices, spanning photography, sculpture, painting, textiles and videography, with many multidisciplinary artists among the fold. Over the course of the past year these artists have become part of HOME’s extended family in a number of ways.

AM: The show explores two major themes – can you tell us about these?

RM: While many of these artists are concerned with a broad range of subject matter, the work exhibited is linked across two major themes. The first of these is histories, as many of the artists consider the establishing, telling or archiving of them in some form. The second centres contemporary observations of culture, heritage and identity, through both personal and collective experiences. This exhibition looks to display the strength in the collective and in the artistic expression achieved when disparate ideas and perspectives are able to align in one space. Collective Processes presents these works in conversation with one another, in the spirit of one of HOME’s core aims, to provide a new infrastructure for creativity.

AM: What has the process of putting together this exhibition been like?

RM: Collective Processes exemplifies the sentiment of moving forwards together, sharing space and supporting and uplifting one another while creating room for us all to shine. Similarly, the curatorial process has been collaborative – one which we hope has given the artists the present work which they are proud of and excited to share, as much as we are happy to share it.

AM: Why did you want to work with Gucci? What do you like about the brand, and why do you think they are the right fit for this partnership?

RM: Gucci has been continually supportive of both my personal practice - through supporting the creation of the film WATA - and of HOME, stopping not only by supporting an exhibition at HOME, but extending their arms out even further to trusting HOME in delivering what we feel is necessary for our communities. Their commitment to generating positive change to people and the planet, to unite and convene, is what makes this a really genuine partnership. By supporting our Black Women Artists Grant and through creating a space for us to host Collective Processes at Gucci Circolo Shoreditch, demonstrates how HOME and Gucci share the fundamental aim and value of cultivating community and sharing space.

Collective Processes and Gucci Circolo Shoreditch will be open and free to the public until 21 December 2021