Vanley Burke in the Archive, 2021. Photo © Clare Hewitt.

Vanley Burke in the Archive, 2021. Photo © Clare Hewitt.


1 Jan 2022 - Ongoing


London, Walsall, Rochdale, Wolverhampton, Glasgow, Birmingham

We are excited to announce ICF’s support for the new Art360 Foundation project Artists’ Legacies in the Museum. This new project will engage museum curatorial teams with the archives of Vanley Burke, Donald Rodney and Maud Sulter, to help recalibrate how institutions collect, share and preserve contemporary art and cultural heritage for future generations.

Vanley Burke and Tosin Adeosun
Tosin Adeosun and Alinta Sara
Lauren Craig study day
Vanley Burke, Lauren Craig and Tosin Adeosun
Alinta Sara, Mark Waugh and Ada Cotton

This project draws on the research of artists, curators, archivists, memory workers and academics who over many decades have made ground-breaking contributions to the revolutionising and restructuring of institutions, and the work of activists who have foregrounded inequalities which have been long-entrenched in UK society.

We aim to help museums focus not only on ‘identifying absence’ in their collections but to ‘create presence’ by connecting curators directly with artists’ archives, their makers and guardians. This co-creative approach will help to establish a foundation from which new museum practices can grow and evolve, moving towards the model of the ‘life-affirming institution’.

The insights and perspectives of independent curators were to the working ecology proposed by the Artists’ Legacies in the Museum project. They were supported by mentors, the ICF and Art360 to create and deliver Study Days which surface and reposition artists’ archives within contemporary contexts. The study days were an opportunity for emerging curators to grow in their practice, deepen their knowledge and develop practical skills that will serve their work in the future.

The curators spent a select number of days engaging with archive material in situ alongside the artist or estate representative in preparation for their Study Day. The archives are physically located in Birmingham, London and Glasgow. The Study Days were an opportunity to surface material that may not have been shown previously in the public realm, and to present these to museums who will consider how they may be positioned within their collections or exhibition programmes.

Vanley Burke in the Archive
Vanley Burke in the Archive, 2021. Photo © Clare Hewitt.
Donald Rodney at the Slade School of Art
Donald Rodney at the Slade School of Art, 1987 © Donald Rodney Estate.
Maud Sulter in front of ‘Les Bijoux at her exhibition Jeanne Duval: A Melodrama’, National Galleries of Scotland, 2003
Maud Sulter in front of ‘Les Bijoux at her exhibition Jeanne Duval: A Melodrama’, National Galleries of Scotland, 2003. Photographer: Gordon Terris. Reproduced with kind permission of the Glasgow Herald, Herald and Times Group. © Maud Sulter Estate

Participating Curators

Tosin Adeosun / Working with Vanley Burke

Tosin Adeosun is a London-based researcher, curator and consultant specialising in the culture, art, and fashion history of the African diaspora. She is the founder and curator of African Style Archive – a platform dedicated to documenting African fashion history through archival photographs, footage and ephemera. She holds a Master’s degree from the University of Sussex in Art History and Museum Curating with Photography, and a Bachelor’s degree in Media and Communications.

Tosin is passionate about unearthing and documenting narratives of Africa and the diaspora through photography, art, and moving images. A keen reader and historian, Tosin enjoys working with archives, communities and institutions to research and curate histories and stories. She has previously worked as a visual art researcher for a television series in production, curated a digital exhibition with a public programme in collaboration with the London College of Fashion, researched on the Africa Fashion exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum and facilitated several academic and public talks on fashion, photography, art and archival practices.

She has worked with many institutions and brands on research, curatorial, and educational projects. Some of them include the London College of Fashion, Soho House, Ahluwalia, South London Gallery, Institute of Contemporary Arts London, Counterpoints Arts, and Modern Art Oxford; she has also guest lectured for the Costume and Performance Design course at Arts University Bournemouth.

Lauren Craig / Working with Maud Sulter Estate

Lauren Craig is a London-based cultural futurist. Her practice as an artist, curator, full-spectrum doula and celebrant is untethered, sprawling and liberatory. Carefully marrying concept with materiality, she moves slowly between performance, installation, experimental art writing, exhibition making, moving image, research and photography. Her autobiographical, autoethnographic and therapeutic (“autoethnotherapeutic”) approach is a meditation on celebration, commemoration and tribute. Through archival research, reactivation and socialisation, she centres on lived experience while striking through and reframing past and present dominant narratives. She offers her creativity as calls to action for heritage work to include ethical cultural memory and collective intelligence. Her work is an invitation to convene and proposition our futurities.

Craig is a member of the social history and curatorial collective Rita Keegan Archive Project (RKAP). Recent exhibitions include Between There and Here at South London Gallery (2021) and No Loose Strands at the Feminist Library, London (2022). RKAP’s upcoming project is a collaboration with William Morris Gallery and Liberty department store as a response to the Althea McNish’s exhibition, Colour is Mine (2022).

Craig’s current project Rendering Experience proposes a re-appraisal of Passion: Discourses on Blackwomen’s Creativity (1990), edited by Maud Sulter. Grounded in the present, the research questions the text’s visibility, urgency and art-historical impact on curatorial futures. Craig’s previous encounters with Passion include a Maud Sulter study day with Glasgow International and Rhubaba Gallery and Studios, Edinburgh, Oral history Training, Absence/Presence a project about Maud Sulter as part of the Open the Door festival by Glasgow Women’s Library. Lauren encouraged dialogue around the book by exhibiting it in Rita Keegan Archive (Project) at South London Gallery (2020) and Show and Tell, The Women’s Art Library (2015).

Craig is a member of the British Art Network (BAN) steering group and a liaison for the BAN Emerging Curators group. She recently exhibited ‘HerStory, 2002-2021’, an auto-ethnographic photographic collage with the Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2021 at South London Gallery and First Site Gallery. Her forthcoming partnerships, publications and events include collaborations with Feminist Review, Photofusion, The Women’s Art Library, Arts Catalyst and Iniva.

She is a founding member of S: E: P: A: L: S. A group experimenting with her conceptual modality of the same name; which proposes an approach for protective knowledge production and ethical cultural memory. Through live events, a publication and a digital garden the group explore how we can use care and safety in more diverse ways within curating, institutional decision making, commissioning and education. She has founded and directed six creative organisations with a background in ethical, social and environmental entrepreneurship and reproductive justice.

Alinta Sara / Working with Donald Rodney Estate

Alinta Sara is an independent curator, art historian, and workshop producer. She was born in Reunion Island, grew up in Martinique and is now based in London. She is the co-founder of Bokantaj, a collaborative initiative that aims to raise greater awareness about the historical trajectories and universal themes that connect communities in the global South. Her current research is on the Afro Brazilian architectural heritage in the Bight of Benin and reflects on the link between collect memory, space, and architecture. Alinta Sara is working as a lecturer at the CLCC at Imperial College as well as a freelance workshop producer with various organizations and galleries in London such as the October Gallery, Lon-Art, the Africa Centre. She managed the Sickle Cell Society heritage project ”Our Journey, our story,” which looked at the history of sickle-cell disease in the UK. She co-curated the exhibition Divinations of Worlds to Come at the Agency Gallery as well as the exhibitions The Colour of Pain at Imperial College, Our Journey, Our Story at the Black Cultural Archives.

Sonia Boyce, Black Female Hairstyles, 1995 installation view, Wolverhampton Art Gallery.
Sonia Boyce, Black Female Hairstyles, 1995 installation view, Wolverhampton Art Gallery.
Romuald Hazoumè, Article 14: Debrouillé-toi, toi-même!
Romuald Hazoumè, Article 14: Debrouillé-toi, toi-même!, 2012. Exhibited in 20:20, Twenty Years of Collecting Contemporary Art, 2020. Photo: Mark Hinton.
Maud Sulter, The Centre of the Frame
Maud Sulter, The Centre of the Frame, Installation view. Photo: Alan Hamer. All works © The Estate of Maud Sulter.

Museum Partners

Touchstones Rochdale is absolutely delighted to have been selected to participate in the Artists’ Legacies in the Museum project. It represents another important step in our ongoing strategy to build on the legacy our radical history in the 1980s, and further explore the contemporary relevance and agency of our collections and archives.’

New Art Gallery Walsall: ‘We want to challenge ourselves and the institutions with which we work to think differently, to consult, collaborate and communicate effectively and with confidence and to learn through engagement with these fascinating archives and from the expertise and experience of all the project partners and curators’

Wolverhampton Art Gallery: ‘ Wolverhampton Arts and Culture are delighted to be involved in this important and timely project. Artists’ Legacies in Museums creates a welcome opportunity for deep reflection and analysis. We’re looking forward to working with New Art Gallery Walsall and Touchstones Rochdale, taking time to think beyond the museum context, considering artists’ legacies from different perspectives, and developing new approaches to collecting, documenting and sharing information’


Toolkit Consultants

The Artists’ Legacies in the Museum Toolkit is an essential first step in empowering museum staff to enact transformative change within their institutions. It aims to generate a greater and more nuanced visibility for the legacies of Black British Artists in UK institutions. The toolkit will be produced by Claire Sivier, Douglas Lonie and Fernanda Zotovici of There is An Alternative (tialt), and is intended to be a resource which can evolve over time with new thinking, generations and climates.

“We began tialt based on our personal and professional experience that artistic practice and social research methods need to be brought closer together in the evaluation of cultural programmes and interventions. To achieve this, we design a range of creative, inclusive research methods that we develop further in applied settings with clients. Seeking to develop a community of practice and encourage more funding bodies, cultural organisations, practitioners and participants to think about how they can collect and use evaluation information in more humanising ways. We put care, trust and respect at the forefront of our approach at all levels and seek to work with clients and projects who share our aspirations and values.”

Claire Sivier, tialt Co-director, is an experienced arts-based researcher, producer, and facilitator from London working mainly with artists, young people and those from marginalised communities, delivering a range of festivals and cultural programmes in the UK and internationally.

Fernanda Zotovici, tialt artistic collaborator & researcher, is an artist, architect, designer and visual researcher specialising in arts-based research practice and participatory methodologies.

Dr Douglas Lonie, tialt Co-director, is a social psychologist with over 15 years’ experience researching the impacts of arts participation on individuals and communities.