Elsa James is an artist and activist living in Essex since 1999. Her work intervenes in the overlapping discourses of race, gender, diaspora and belonging. Her black British identity ignites her interdisciplinary and research-based practice, located within the fields of contemporary performance, text and language-based art, socio-political and socially engaged art. The historical, temporal and spatial dimensions of what it means to be black in Essex; England’s most misunderstood, and, homogeneously white county, are prevalent concerns in her work.
She intends to use this month-long residency to kickstart a focused period of research about the county, for which she will later use as the basis and framework for developing new work.
She says, “Centring the county of Essex in my practice, the place I have lived in for the last two decades but only recently embraced as my home, has never felt more profound than in this moment.”
‘Black Girl Essex: Here We Come, Look We Here’ (2019) film still. Tilbury Docks, Essex. Credit: Andy Delaney
Instagram and Twitter: @thisiselsajames