A New Digital Exhibition Explores Mixed-Race Identity Through Fashion

by SHOWstudio on 26 July 2022

Digital archive The Mixed Museum presents By The Cut of Their Cloth, highlighting the mixed-race communities of Brent.

Digital archive The Mixed Museum presents By The Cut of Their Cloth, highlighting the mixed-race communities of Brent.

When exploring the complexities of racial identity (let alone mixed-race identity), having context and nuance is essential. That's why The Mixed Museum – a digital museum and archive – has partnered up with artist and designer Warren Reilly to present By The Cut of Their Cloth. The recently launched exhibition uses the lens of fashion and fine art to explore the social histories of marginalised communities in Brent. Conceived by Reilly, who grew up in Brent, the Irish/Jamaican artist and designer sought to create a resource for the public to learn more about London’s history of migration and immigration while celebrating the city's diverse communities.

The exhibition is organised in seven sections that cover topics including colonial histories, the growth of multicultural communities, and discoveries from the Brent Museum and Archives. For Reilly, the partnership with The Mixed Museum was an organic one. ‘[its] an organisation that was established exactly to represent and celebrate the history of people like me, it is no wonder that it felt natural that we would choose to collaborate on a project like this.’ Reilly explains.

Rosalyn Smith Reilly and her sister, Angela, as bridesmaids at their Auntie Carol's wedding, c.1985. Courtesy of Warren Reilly.

The digital archive works to preserve and share the history of racial mixing in Britain, offering resources for future generations about the Black and Asian and wider ethnic minority presence in the UK. For Reilly, it was important to utilise visual culture in his exploration of Brent’s multicultural communities. In this exhibit that means utilising art and archive photography to create context in the wider conversation of mixed-race identity. Along with the preservation of information, the digitised project equally makes it readily accessible for anyone around the globe to expand their knowledge of Brent’s mixed-race communities.

You can experience the completely digital exhibition here.

Warren Reilly at his studio at Artists’ Studio Company in Alperton. Portrait by Nadia Nevro Projects.



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