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Anita shines spotlight on Black British artists

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Anita George, who also won the Steele Prize for Fine Art on the first day of her exhibition

Mature student highlights importance of the artists which led the Black British art movement in the 1980s.

A mature student from Preston is highlighting the importance of the artists which led the Black British art movement in the 1980s.

Anita George, 46, will graduate from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) this summer with a degree in fine art.

As part of her final year project, she has paid homage to those integral to the movement which highlighted issues relating to race, gender and representation, through the creation of a giant Rubik's cube featuring the depiction of their faces.

Featured on the cube is Lubaina Himid MBE, Professor of Contemporary Art at UCLan, who has recently been shortlisted for one of the world’s most prestigious art awards, the Turner Prize. Other artists featured include Eddie Chambers, Keith Piper, Marlene Smith, Claudette Johnson, Sonia Boyce, Donald Rodney and photographer Vanley Burke.

Anita, who also won the Steele Prize for Fine Art on the first day of her exhibition, is also keen to send the message that it’s never too late to pursue your passion, as she prepares to graduate with a degree in the subject she didn’t have the confidence to take up as a young girl.

It was only when I reached my 40s that I felt ready, which is when I completed the foundation course at UCLan before enrolling onto the BA Hons course.

“I have always loved art, but I lost my confidence when I was at high school and unfortunately I didn’t carry on with what I really wanted to do. It was only when I reached my 40s that I felt ready, which is when I completed the foundation course at UCLan before enrolling onto the BA Hons course.

“The reason behind my final year project, which is positive celebration of culture, is that the history of Black British art is something that isn’t taught in schools, but I really feel it should be. These wonderful artists paved the way for people like myself and it’s important people are more aware of who they are and what they have done.”

As a carer of children with special needs, in addition to being a mum of seven herself, Anita has faced several challenges in pursuit of her passion, including being diagnosed with dyslexia and a painful snapped cruciate ligament.

“While I’d always known there were issues with my spelling and writing, it was only through coming to UCLan that my condition was highlighted which has helped me to understand myself more. Injuring my leg during my studies wasn’t ideal but I was determined to continue no matter what.

“The tutors have been fantastic, inspiring and extremely supportive and I’m glad I came to UCLan as it has given me the chance to do what I love the most.”

In September, Anita will begin a Masters in Fine Art at UCLan, and in the meantime hopes to exhibit her work in the Tate Liverpool.

Her work will be on display at UCLan’s Preston Campus from 9-16 June as part of the Lancashire Arts Festival Degree Show.  For more information visit https://lancashireartsfestival.co.uk/

Press Office | 15 June 2017