Maud Sulter

25 April - 20 June 2015

Street Level Photoworks

Glasgow, UK

Past exhibition

Maud Sulter (1960–2008) was an award-winning artist and writer, curator and gallerist of Ghanain and Scottish heritage who lived and worked in Britain.

Her significance lies in her pioneering innovation of photographic forms that investigated the visual representation of black women, not through the more familiar routes of documentary, but through critical inquiry into art's histories and sustained visual interrogation into the canon of western art. Her works were often preoccupied with lost and neglected figures, examining the ways that the past shapes and can remake the present.

She exhibited widely and represented Britain at Africus, the Johannesburg Biennale of 1995. Her art has been acquired by numerous private and public collections, including the Scottish Parliament, the Arts Council Collection, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the British Council Collection, the National Galleries of Scotland, and the National Portrait Gallery in London. She wrote several collections of poetry, and edited a pioneering collection of writings and images, Passion: Discourses on Blackwomen’s Creativity. This was published by the imprint she founded, Urban Fox Press, ‘a revolutionary new press for the more radical 90s’. She was active in the Black feminist and lesbian movements, often inspired by African-American activists, artists and writers. She curated nearly 20 exhibitions, and set up a gallery, Rich Women of Zurich in London’s Clerkenwell.’ - Deborah Cherry ‘Putting Black Women in the Centre of the Frame

This exhibition includes key chapters in her multilayered photographic art practice: works from the critically acclaimed Zabat (1990), and for the first time since their initial exhibitions across Britain, several works from each of the projects Hysteria, Syrcas and Les Bijoux. This represents the first detailed examination and exhibition of Sulter’s work since 2003, with exclusive and unique access by the curators to the Sulter archive, which has remained closed to public viewing or research since the artists death in 2008. It also draws upon some individual private collections, as well as the works in the public holdings of Harris Museum and Art Gallery (Preston), The McManus: Dundee's Art Gallery and Museum, and City Arts Centre, Edinburgh.

This exhibition is an Autograph ABP / Street Level Photoworks partnership, in association with TrAIN (Transnational Art and Nation) and is the outcome of a curatorial research project by Deborah Cherry, Professor of Art History at the University of the Arts London, and Deputy Director of TrAIN, and artist and curator Ajamu, funded by Arts Council England.

This exhibition features as part of the IPS Season of Photography 2015 - a lively series of exhibitions and events taking place throughout Scotland from April to September.

In partnership with

Street Level Photoworks, Glasgow

Street Level Photoworks was founded in 1989. From its inception it has provided artists and the public with the opportunity to produce and participate in photography and lens-based media. It aims to make artistic production accessible, both physically and intellectually, to a wide audience.

TrAIN, the University of the Arts research centre for Transnational Art, identity and nation

The University of the Arts Research Centre for Transnational Art, Identity and Nation is a forum for historical, theoretical and practice-based research in architecture, art, communication, craft and design.


Researchers / curators

Deborah Cherry

Deborah Cherry is Professor of Art History at the University of the Arts London. She has published widely on modern and contemporary art, including several essays on Maud Sulter's art and curating.


Ajamu is an acclaimed London based fine art photographer and community archivist who marries perfectly fine art practice and community activism. He has been in involved with Black Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Queer (LGBTQ) communities for over 20 years working nationally and internationally. He is known for predominatly conceptual self-portraits, Black Male figure studies and studio based constructed imagery.

Press contact

For further information, please contact Lois Olmstead at Autograph ABP - phone +44 (0)20 7729 9200 or email lois@autograph-abp.co.uk.

Additional Info

Street Level Photoworks
103 Trongate
Glasgow G1 5HD

T: 0141 552 2151
E: reception@streetlevelphotoworks.org

Tuesday - Saturday: 10am - 5pm
Sunday: 12 noon - 5pm

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