Amber Akaunu: Still
During this uncertain time, some of us have been forced to slow down and reconnect with ourselves and our surroundings. For RISE Together, I have created a series of still life photography that visualises what that stillness is for me. The photographs are accompanied by text, poetry and lyrics, which is something I’ve instinctively done in the past and find really effective in communicating more abstract concepts – such as stillness. The idea responds to the topic of RISE as in these moments of stillness, many of us are practising self-care, educating ourselves, connecting with friends and family, journaling and so much more. This period of self-reflection will allow us to RISE up stronger when this moment has passed.
Bloom From The Concrete
So I Stopped By The Moon
Trees In The Sky
Amber Akaunu is a Liverpool based artist working in film, photography and illustration to dissect issues such as identity and race. Her work is heavily focused on context and therefore the research and development stage is crucial. This stage can be in the form of engaging with film, conversations, art, literature, archives and more commonly music.
Music is a huge influence on Amber and her practice, which is evident in 39, a body of work in which Amber created 39 visual interpretations of 39 different hip hop lyrics to celebrate 39 years of the genre.
Amber recently directed a short film titled Afro Hair Rituals that explores the idea that the process of doing afro hair is a sacred and intimate ritual which has been passed down for generations. Afro Hair Rituals draws from her own experience of getting her hair done at her grandmother’s home. The film was created with New Creatives North and made its TV debut in March 2020 when it was broadcasted on BBC Four.
She is also a co-founder of ROOT-ed Zine, a quarterly magazine for North West based creatives of colour. Through this educational endeavour Amber has had the opportunity to work with talented artists as well as arts institutions including Tate, FACT and The International Slavery Museum.
RISE Together on BBC Radio Merseyside
Want to find out more about the RISE Together programme? Culture Liverpool’s Head of Arts & Participation and RISE curator, Alicia Smith, took part in the below BBC Radio Merseyside interview with Jermaine Foster. Just press play and skip to 51.50 to catch up now.