Two summers ago I was fortunate to work with Jon Daniel when his Afro Supa Hero exhibition came to the International Slavery Museum. Jon was an inspiring man who was passionate about celebrating heroes and heroines of the African diaspora. The role models and heroes featured in his exhibition ranged from cultural icons from his childhood to historical figures, including many who you might encounter in the galleries of the museum. He used his skills as a designer and graphic artist to share their stories with a wider audience. Kind and generous with his time, he was also keen to support new and emerging talent and took a real interest in the people that he met. I always said that whenever he visited Liverpool he would enter a room of strangers and leave a room of friends.
Last week on a visit to London I visited the Jon Daniel: Afro Supa Hero exhibition at 198 Contemporary Arts & Learning, the first retrospective of his work since his untimely death a year ago. This fantastic exhibition covers Jon’s long career, opening with a joyful wall of cultural icons but also covering some of the poster campaigns he designed, which held no punches in promoting better representation of the British Black community.
“Jon was a true visionary and created work that brought people together to challenge thinking and misconceptions of all that was important to him. His art always reflected his world view which was compassionate, committed, and inseparable from social and political developments.” Lorayne Crawford, curator and friend
I’d highly recommend this exhibition if you are in London and able to visit – and the good news is that it has been extended until 16 November 2018. Check the 198 Contemporary Arts & Learning website for opening times and details.
As it is Black History Month, here is Jon Daniel talking about some of the real life superheroes from his collection, who you might remember from our 2016 exhibition:
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