Sometimes you begin to malign black artists for creating work – no matter how well executed – that focuses solely on the race debate. Acclaimed American artist Kara Walker brought all these feelings front of mind in her current exhibition at Camden Arts Centre. Despite brilliantly comic and tragic standout silhouettes that depict the struggles of black men and women in Middle America adorning the large white walls of room 1, it was hard not to think, I’ve seen all this before.

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Following the silhouettes saw a collection of large-scale black and white graphite drawings, Dust Jackets for the Niggerati, that once again focused on the struggle and oppression that dominated afro-Caribbean American history. The final room of the exhibition saw a screening of Walker’s shadow play, the poignant Fall From Grace – Miss Pipi’s Blue Tale, which told the story of the lynching of a young black field worker in the mid-West who had become the love interest of a wealthy white land owner. The story saw a white spurned suitor for the lady, take his revenge on the young black man in graphic, harrowing detail.
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It was well told, even if the poor sound quality meant that you had to second guess some of the dialogue, but, it left me thinking, surely someone of colour with undeniable talent can create art from a subject matter other than race. It is however, brilliant and well worth a visit, maybe I’ve just seen one too many race related art shows recently.

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Kara Walker is on now at Camden Arts Centre until 5 January 2014