Horace Ove



29 January- 4 March, 2005

"My exhibition is not only one of classic portraits but it is portraits with a political and social dimension, of people from many different levels of society, countries and races. What they try to capture is the reality of the moment in the person’s life at a particular time.’ David A. Bailey and Jim Waters in association with Autograph ABP: Ove is internationally known as one of the leading black independent filmmakers to emerge in Britain since the post-war period. What is not generally known is that since the 1960s he has been photographing Britain’s black diaspora community. It is in this aspect where his work as a photographer is unique. He was active during this period, working alongside artistic factions and political activists, but at the same time had the vision and artistic ability to document events, individuals and the gatherings of black peoples from Africa, the Caribbean and the USA ‘the diaspora' amongst the home grown black communities. He was an artist keen to explore his roots with works which made links with Europe, Africa, the USA and the Caribbean.

The images are not journalistic or documentary in the Picture Post genre, but at time-base stills which utilise Ove's skills as a filmmaker, painter and writer to construct images or keen moments of the black diaspora in Britain. 1960s Britain was a hotbed of political and creative activity, writers and intellectuals came from around the world to discuss civil rights issues and form new movements. Horace Ove was at many of the meetings and captured the events as they unfolded, including the first Black Power meeting with Stokely Carmichael, Allen Ginsberg and Michael X, founder of the movement in the UK. Ove also recorded the birth of the Notting Hill Carnival and charted its growth through the 1970s and 1980s from the early beginning with the first Windrush generation to the pumping sound systems, fashion and street dancing of the younger generation. He has also recently brought his work up to date with new portraits of figures like Sir Trevor MacDonald and Professor Stuart Hall.