Black Joy! Up Close and Personal
Friday 3rd May – Sunday 25th August 2024 
Hastings Gallery & Art Museum, Hastings TN34 1ET. 

THURSDAY 4 APRIL 2024, HASTINGS, UNITED KINGDOM — The Arts and social justice organisation ‘Playing The Race Card’ is launching their latest exhibition, Black Joy! Up Close and Personal, at the Hastings Museum and Art Gallery on Saturday 4 May 2024. Over 40 talented Black artists from the South East of England will feature in this one-of-a-kind display. 

Including artists such as Femi Dawkins (winner of the Gieskes-Strijbis Podiumprijs 2022), Yeside Linney (Women In The Arts prize winner 2022), and Dorcas Magbadelo (Etsy Design Awards 2023, Art category), each piece reflects the resilience, beauty, and the spirit of Black Joy. A counteractive response to the systemic racism and oppression of Black people, ‘Black Joy’ is a term representing the authentic expression of self-love and empowerment within the Black community.

The exhibition will display artworks in various mediums including painting, sign-writing, fashion, textiles, sculpture, collage, photography and video. 

Supported by local arts charity Home Live Art and curated by artist, activist and educator Lorna Hamilton-Brown RCA MBE, the thought-provoking exhibition will take place at Hastings Museum and Art Gallery.  

“Black people are not a monolith, so we all experience or express Black Joy in different ways,” says Lorna. “For me, Black Joy is the deliberate act of finding pleasure and happiness in whatever you do despite your situation.”

She continues, “The show features artists at different stages of their careers. Together with the artist’s statement that accompanies the work, the viewer will gain a personal insight into the artist’s thoughts and intentions. I do not want this to be a show that is solely about how the artworks look. I want the viewer to get a sense of the artist’s thought process and feelings without the artist being present.” 

The exhibition follows the success of Playing The Race Card’s 2022 exhibition where 25 artists from the South East explored the nuanced challenges experienced by the Black community as a result of ongoing structural racism. 

Local Hastings resident Claudine Eccleston started Playing The Race Card in 2020  in response to her own experiences of the term.  “This exhibition is far-reaching and sparks conversations about race and social justice using diverse art forms by talented artists. I hope that it will empower change and understanding.”

Black Joy! Up Close and Personal is a heartfelt tribute to Black culture, resistance and happiness, with joy as its central theme. The exhibition is complemented by a programme of live events, including performances, workshops, talks and tours until the exhibition’s conclusion on Sunday 25 August 2024.

For more information about the exhibition, visit the Playing The Race Card website at



  • Images to accompany this story are available at the following link:
  • Playing The Race Card Founder Claudine Eccleston and Curator Lorna Hamilton Brown are available for interview. Please contact Juanita Rosenior at TGRG on 0203 375 6024 and 
  • For a full list of artists and programming please visit
  • Black Joy! Up Close and Personal, Friday 3rd May – Sunday 25th August 2024 at Hastings Gallery & Art Museum, John’s Place, Bohemia Rd, Hastings TN34 1ET. The gallery opening hours are  Tuesday – Saturday, 10am – 5pm, and Sundays, 11am – 4.30pm. It is free entry and there is free parking.
  • Playing the Race Card creates a town-wide conversation on race, identity and social justice through thought-provoking exhibitions, workshops, talks, and performances.
  • Black Joy! Up Close And Personal is funded by Home Live Art, Hastings Museum and Art Gallery, and Necessity. 
  • Home Live Art is an artist-led, queer-led creative organisation based in Hastings. It is dedicated to developing new sites and audiences for culture by supporting artists to develop their work and building strong local communities through creativity.