Bow Arts presents a solo exhibition by Kat Anderson, winner of the inaugural East London Art Prize, at the Nunnery Gallery. Anderson will premiere a fictional short film and new paperworks which explore the impact of sugar on the African-Caribbean Diaspora. Part of Anderson’s ongoing project Episodes of Horror, which uses the genre of Horror to examine representations and the projected threat of the Black body and mental illness on society, Mark of Cane confronts the haunting legacies of the Industrial Revolution and the Transatlantic Slave trade.
The exhibition is an immersive, audio-visual experience, centred around Anderson’s new single-channel, fictional short film Las, Fiya, 2023. Shot largely on an existing sugarcane farm in Jamaica, the film weaves historical methods of harvesting sugarcane and sugar production with the cinematic concept of the Origin Story. The accompanying series of paperworks, that the artist has hand- made from the extracted by-products of sugarcane, marks an exploration of a new medium for them. The series is produced as part of Anderson’s residency at UCL East, a key partner of the East London Art Prize, where a special cane crusher and boiler furnace will be used to extract materials for the paper-making process.
In line with the larger project Episodes of Horror, Mark of Cane questions the emancipatory potential of creativity, reclamation and listening to history. Sugarcane becomes a vessel, both narratively and materially, for an imaginative and impactful examination of colonial histories. The work invites conversations around the forced and coerced movements of Black African-Caribbean people, from slavery through to the Windrush generation and its subsequent scandal.
In addition to this solo show with Bow Arts, Anderson has been invited by UCL East Urban Room to extend the residency beyond the exhibition.
Anderson’s film has been supported by funds from Arts Council England and produced with support from Spike Island, Bristol.
The East London Art Prize celebrates and promotes the incredible talent and diversity of art made in the cultural hive of east London. The inaugural year’s judges, artist Larry Achiampong, critic Louisa Buck, Director/Founder of Guts Gallery, Ellie Pennick, and Megan Piper, Director/Co-Founder of The Line, selected Anderson from a shortlist of 12 East London artists.