Unmasked and Stripped Bare - exhibition by Yasmin Aishah and Ruby Colley

Who wears the mask?

Who is the mask for?

When we are stripped bare, what remains?


Monday 3 April -Friday 7 April, 12-4pm


A sound installation by Ruby Colley featuring migrant community members, Les Booth, Michael Braithwaite, Paulo Lopes, Dave Rohoman and Elwaldo Romeo, who share their experiences of times in their lives when they feel able to be their authentic selves. And when and how they ‘mask’ to fit in.

Mary Seacole was born in Kingston, Jamaica, to a mother of mixed heritage.

The community featured in this festival installation project reflect Mary Seacole’s experience of being born in a place saturated in British colonial identity and subsequently settling in London and travelling the globe.

Stripped Bare

A sound installation Yasmin Aishah and Ruby Colley began a project for the ATownExploresABook23 festival entitled Unmasked.
During the process, Yasmin Aishah suffered a devastating house fire in which her artwork for the project was destroyed. In Unmasked part 2, Yasmin’s testimony gathered before the fire is contrasted with her experience afterwards as she processes this traumatic event, recognising that all the elements in her life that she used to masked have been destroyed.

Mary Seacole travelled to England from Jamaica as a teenagers to sell “a large stock of West Indian preserves and pickles”. On her return journey aboard the Velusia, a fire broke out in the hold and Mary explains that although “considerably alarmed, I did not lose my senses.” Mary planned to be lashed to a hen coop if the ship went down.

Subsequently in The Great Fire of Kingston in 1843, Mary Seacole details the destruction of her own house. “As it was, I very nearly lost my life, for I would not leave my house until every chance of saving it had gone, and it was wrapped in flames. But, of course, I set to work again in a humbler way, and rebuilt my house by degrees, and restocked it, succeeding better than before;”
Access: Slope up to entrance from Hatherley Road with some uneven ground. Level access entrance.