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D&AD Meets: POC Creatives — Visual Artist Rochelle White on co-founding Eating At the Same Table (EAST), Phantasy Art School and tokenism

“The fact that I grew up rarely seeing black people in the arts was a reality check for me”. For South London-based visual artist and curator Rochelle White, the scarcity of visible role models in the artistic realm from a young age was the catalyst that sparked her creative journey. Inspired by supportive parents and a late decision to enter university, Rochelle soon began to build an organic network of like-minded folk who shared the duality of being born in Britain and having roots within the Caribbean and Africa.

A graduate of the Camberwell College of the Arts, she works primarily within photographic mediums, investigating the fabric of cultural and racial identity resulting in a union of bold contemporary and traditional references, often loaded with symbolism specific to and rooted in unspoken diasporic understandings.  As a third-generation immigrant, White’s work studies the nuances of the Black-Caribbean experience in Britain as reflected in her recent short film ‘Brother Will’ (featuring her wise grandad). Also a co-founder of Eating At the Same Table, a  London based arts programme nurturing emerging fine artists of colour. Her clients include the Serpentine Galleries, Afropunk Festival and NOW Gallery. 

In the second blog post of the POC Creatives series, we speak with Rochelle on creating spaces for people of colour, alternative modes of arts education and restoring self-validation in the industry.

Rochelle White (right) presenting ‘Home’-an interactive piece at NOW Later x The Laundry

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