Nicola Simonetti, our Culture Editor, interviewed Tasnim Siddiqa-Amin, curator of the new exhibition Colour Me Black. Here is what she said.
You may have heard of it on the street, you may have seen posters on your way to the library. Colour Me Black is the new free initiative launched by ArtSoc taking place at the St Andrews Preservation Trust at the beginning of December. Set up by a sub-committee that Tasnim Siddiqa Amin is in charge of, the exhibition is considered to be a revolutionary experience in the 2015-16 academic year (at least in my opinion!). I sat down with Siddiqa Amin to find out more about the event. Here is what she said.
When and why did you come up with the idea for Colour Me Black?
Tasnim: I have been thinking about setting up this event for quite a long time. Colour Me Black, among other things, is a way of gathering together as many artists as possible. They do not need to be artists in the traditional sense, they just need to be creative. Colour Me Black aims to open a dialogue in the art world about raising awareness on current —both local and worldwide— problems. I have spent almost my entire existence in East London where I experienced a much deeper level of integration. What I am trying to do is to bring East London to St Andrews, and make people see what is often left out there.
Submissions for Colour Me Black opened on October 28th. What kind of art are you looking for?
Tasnim: Any. Art is the freest form of expression and the exhibition is about that. It may be a painting or it may be some kind of temporary art which will be destroyed after the exposition. I want students to understand the vastness of the word ‘art’. We are open to all artworks, as long as they stick to the idea of art as a tool which informs, explains and teaches. We need artworks to have a meaning, they need to work as a means to express all the vibes existing out there. I want people to feel free to say or criticise what they feel like saying or criticising. Colour Me Black does not impose any theme; it is a way of exploring all the minorities that are neglected.
I wanted to bring to the light a controversial project that could stimulate many questions from the audience. People are too used to judging according to the schemes that society imposes on them. They always say: ‘Can I say black? Can I say brown?’. Sometimes just because you are not white they do not even expect you to speak English. My purpose is to eradicate these prejudices.
What makes Colour Me Black different from other exhibitions?
Tasnim: Instead of focusing on one theme, Colour Me Black celebrates diversity on all levels. It is not just about different topics or about different kinds of artwork, I want to stimulate different senses too. Obviously poems are accepted as well, but what I am looking for is an immediate sense of empathy between the audience and the showcased artwork. Feeling is the only thing that does not age. I want to excite visual memory through fleeting art pieces. Smells should be a part of the exhibition too.
Anything more you want to add about Colour Me Black?
Tasnim: Colour Me Black is the beginning of a journey, both on a personal and professional level. Being a second year I have so much time to build something bigger in this town. As I said at the first one of the three committee meetings that we have had so far, I want the exposition to be about: 1) Initiative; 2) Cosmopolitanism; 3) In My Room. I said that in reference to my previous exhibition —which took place in St Regulus last month— because I want to focus on space. Space is a very important component of making art.
It is not hard to be persuaded by Tasnim Siddiqa Amin’s words that Colour Me Black will be an outstanding event. Backed up by a crew of devoted and hard-working people, the exhibition is meant to be a success. During the exposition, which is free-entry (because art is free!), donations will be accepted. While waiting for more exciting news, check out the event’s Facebook page.
Submissions for art work close November 20th.
We are looking forward to what the creative minds of St Andrews’s students will be able to put on!