Known for his witty and politically incisive paintings, since the 1970’s Tam Joseph has sought to challenge dominant discourses and the ‘received wisdom’ of history and culture in his work.
The Hand Made Map Of The World, is based on an original painting made in 2012 and was first presented as a billboard in the 2014 festival. Newly sited for this current presentation on the Meadows, Joseph is drawn to the wider historical associations of this green space, which in 1886 hosted the International Exhibition of Art, Industry and Science, one in a succession of ‘world fairs’ to be staged in cities throughout Victorian Britain.
Transforming and subverting the ‘World Political Map’, Joseph playfully renames familiar landmasses to lay bare the destructive quest for territorial control which has dominated geopolitics over the centuries, and critique the supposed ideological neutrality of maps.
Challenging our view of the world, and history, in Joseph’s hand made world, America becomes China, the United Kingdom becomes Cuba. In the artist’s own words: ‘It’s All in the Mind’.
The original painting on which this billboard is based, The Hand Made Map Of The World, 2012, is in the collection of the Ben Uri Gallery and Museum, London.
This series of responses has been made possible thanks to the support of the Scottish Government’s Festivals Expo Fund and EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.
With additional support from Jack Arts and David Narro Associates.
Full selection of artist responses is available here.
Tam Joseph was born in Dominica in 1947, and currently lives in London. He moved to London at the age of eight, and studied at the Slade School of Art, University of London and London College of Printing. Joseph’s exhibitions have included: No Colour Bar: Black British Art in Action 1960–1990, Guildhall Art Gallery 2016; Producing the Common, International Exhibition of Dak’Art 2014; Caribbean: Crossroads of the World, Perez Art Museum, Miami, 2014 and El Museo del Barrio, Studio Museum in Harlem and Queens Museum, 2012; This is History, Gallery II, Bradford and touring, 1998; Learning to Walk, Smith Art Gallery and Museum, Stirling and touring, 1989; Us and Dem, Storey Institute, Lancaster, 1994; Back to School, The Showroom, London, 1989; Black Art Plotting the Course, Oldham Art Gallery and touring, 1988; Big Yellow, Bedford Hill Gallery 1988; Observers are Worried, Painting and Sculpture, St Pancras Library and Shaw Theatre, 1986; Monkey Dey Chop, Baboon Dey Cry, Barbican Arts Centre, London, 1984.
30 July – 30 August
Middle Meadow Walk