The artist and poet in conversation: Charmaine Watkiss and Rommi Smith


27 October 2022

6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Venue Leeds Art Gallery

Tags Event, Talk,

Join us for a very special event featuring the artist, Charmaine Watkiss, and poet, Rommi Smith, in conversation about Watkiss’ first institutional exhibition The Wisdom Tree at Leeds Art Gallery. Part of the Jamaica Society Leeds Out of Many Festival which marks 60 years of Jamaican Independence, the exhibition showcases a recent body of work that acknowledges and celebrates the experiences and contributions of people of Jamaican heritage in the UK.

The conversation is likely to touch on shared interests in: botany, ecology, history, cosmology, ancestry, ritual and remembrance, and the diasporic experience. In August this year, Rommi Smith performed her poetic response to Charmaine’s work as part of Leeds Poetry Festival, and for this special in conversation event, she will re-perform some of these newly commissioned poems.

Charmaine Watkiss lives in London, and is a visual artist. Her first institutional solo exhibition, The Wisdom Tree is currently on view at Leeds Art Gallery until 30 October 2022. Recent exhibitions include The Company She Keeps, Tiwani Contemporary, Lagos, Nigeria (2022); Drawing attention: emerging British artists, The British Museum, London (2022); Womxn Of Colour Art Award 2020-2021 Exhibition: Altitude, 198 Contemporary Arts and Learning, London (2022); The Seed Keepers, Tiwani Contemporary, London (2021); and Breakfast Under the Tree, curated by Russell Tovey at Carl Freedman Gallery, Margate (2021).

Dr. Rommi Smith is a multi-award-winning poet, playwright, theatre-maker, performer, scholar and Cave Canem Fellow. Winner of numerous prestigious residencies and commissions from institutions ranging from the British Council to the BBC, Rommi is the inaugural British Parliamentary Writer-in-Residence and inaugural Poet-in-Residence for Keats’ House, Hampstead. She is winner of the Northern Writers Prize for Poetry.

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