Written by award-winning black British children’s author Sharna Jackson, Black Artists Shaping the World is an exciting compilation of contemporary black artists from Africa, and of the African diaspora. Turner Prize-winning artists and photographers sit side by side with visual activists and performance artists.
Jackson doesn’t focus on providing detailed biographies of the twenty-six artists who feature in this compilation, rather we are presented with a specific piece of their own art – very much of the here and now. Jackson then explains the inspiration, process, and critical analysis of each piece of work.
We learn how Faith Ringgold turned to traditional quilting after a lifetime of art experimentation and how Athi-Patra Ruga reflects hope in his photographs inspired by mythical stories. This unique approach to presenting modern art to young readers means not only are they educated in a variety of art forms, but more crucially, they are being empowered to appreciate and examine elements of modern art. Presented with full colour plate photographs, the inspiring mixture of artists is both eclectic and innovative, allowing readers to develop an appreciation of their acumen and originality in a variety of art forms. Exciting, necessary and critically important for any reader wanting to delve into contemporary art.