Photographs by renowned local artist Maxine Walker return to Birmingham for the first time in 25 years

Thu 29 October 2020
Deborah Kermode, MAC CEO & Artistic Director (left) with Maxine Walker, artist (right) on-site at MAC

This month, we were proud to welcome Birmingham-based artist Maxine Walker and her daughter to MAC to view a series of photographs by the artist that returned to Birmingham for the first time in 25 years. 

This occasion also marked the first time Maxine Walker's daughter had viewed the photographs from the series Untitled in-person, which are generously on loan from Victoria & Albert Museum, London. 

Maxine Walker and daughter viewing photographs at MAC, on loan from V&A

MAC is celebrating Walker’s work in a solo exhibition for our reopening in spring 2021, bringing together Autograph’s recent exhibition of the artist’s work with the V&A collection. It is a unique opportunity to preserve the legacy of important practitioners such as Maxine Walker and to ensure that their significant contributions to the cultural history of photography are recognised.

Credit: Untitled (1997), courtesy of the artist and Autograph, London © Maxine Walker

The series, Untitled, engages with the politics of Black female identity, challenging racial identity stereotypes as Walker transforms herself into myriad of characters. The photographs were originally commissioned in 1995 by Autograph and Ikon Gallery for the exhibition Self-Evident, curated by Mark Sealy.  

The V&A acquired the photographs shortly after the exhibition as part of their ‘Staying Power’ project in partnership with Black Cultural Archives, which aimed to explore Black British experience from the 1950s – 1990s.

Maxine Walker on-site at MAC with photographs from the series Untitled (1997)

We are delighted to celebrate the return of these important photographs to Birmingham during Black History Month. 

With thanks to V&A for their generous loans and to Autograph for their invaluable partnership.