Platform: Gabrielle Banks & Skye Volmar
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Platform: Gabrielle Banks & Skye Volmar

Unit London is excited to announce a new two-person Platform exhibition from Gabrielle Banks and Skye Volmar, which is now open in the online viewing room (click here to view).

The Platform exhibition series offers concise presentations, often homing in on specific socio-political or cultural themes. In keeping with these principles, 10% of proceeds from each exhibition are donated to a charity or non-profit nominated by the artist. Volmar and Banks have chosen to support the Loveland Foundation Therapy Fund, which provides financial assistance to Black women and girls seeking therapy. The organisation strives to overcome the existing barriers that impede access to treatment for members of diverse ethnic and racial groups.

Banks and Volmar studied painting together at the Rhode Island School of Design, two of four Black women to graduate the department in 2019. Their two-person Platform exhibition re-establishes their connection, presenting a combined body of work entitled, Split Ends. As a result of their shared interests, Banks and Volmar’s works communicate overlapping themes. Split Ends encapsulates topics surrounding isolation, performativity and the connections between girlhood and womanhood.

Gabrielle Banks, Facial, 2021 Graphite and gouache on paper (framed), 40 x 39 cm

 Skye Volmar, Orange Moon (The Mother in Me)2020, Acrylic and oil on canvas, 61 x 61 cm

The show’s title takes its name from the artist’s representations of hair, exploring differing hair types and practices and how these relate to various perceptions of Black women. These different styles convey the racist, colourist and gendered expectations of Black women and their frequently circumscribed roles in society. Through their Platform presentation, Volmar and Banks seek to offer the audience a deeper understanding of the lived Black experience. In this sense, the two artists have a shared goal: to see each other and to be seen. As such, self-portraits function as a way for Banks and Volmar to achieve this goal, leading to a visual conversation that strives towards growth, healing and self-preservation.

 

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