Practice-based work: Glenn Jordan

In my capacity as Director of Butetown History & Arts Centre, I regularly curate exhibitions. Most of these involve a substantial amount of research. Recent examples include:

Jun 06 – Aug 06
Somali Elders: Portraits from Wales: Photographs by Glenn Jordan / Henuriaid Somalaidd: Portreadau o Gymru: Ffotograffau gan Glenn Jordan.
At National Museum Cardiff. After which the exhibition will tour to St Donat’s Arts Centre and other venues.

Mar 05 – July 05
Butetown Remembers World War II: Seamen, the Forces, Evacuees.
This exhibition is about war, empire and collective memory. It is the first of two 2005 exhibitions at Butetown History & Arts Centre exploring contributions of people of Cardiff docklands to WWII. Using photographs, oral histories, film footage and other documents, the exhibition explores a hidden history and provides a unique perspective on the war.

July 04 – Oct 04
Somali Elders: Portraits from Wales / Odeyada Soomaalida: Muuqaalo ka yimid Welishka.
Through large colour portraits, including some 33 × 50 inches (84 × 127 cm), this exhibition, the first of its kind in the UK, brings the viewer face-to-face with a largely unseen history and presence. For this exhibition, I served as both artist (photographer) and curator. Usually, my role is limited to that of curator.

Jan 04 – Mar 04
Loudoun Square — Heart of the Bay: Utopias Planned and Remembered.
This exhibition explores 150 years of history in the central square of the old “Tiger Bay” community in Cardiff, asking questions about the role of planners and developers, on the one hand, and local residents, on the other, the making and unmaking of community.

Nov 03
Black History Month Exhibition.
This small exhibition, at the National Museum of Wales, explored aspects of the social and cultural history of Black and ethnic minorities in Cardiff and Wales.

July 03 – Sept 03
Fractured Horizon: A Landscape of Memory.
Bringing together the work of Matthew Manning, a photojournalist, and Patti Flynn, a singer-writer whose family has deep roots in Cardiff docklands, this exhibition (in English and Welsh) takes a critical look — from the margins — at the new, redeveloped Cardiff Bay. A book accompanied the exhibition.

Mar 03 – June 03
Bute Street: Cosmopolitan Highway.
This exhibition explored social and cultural life in a street that was, for a century, the most famous in Wales. From the mid-1800s to the 1960s redevelopment, Bute Street was a financial centre and thoroughfare, connecting the city centre to the waterfront and occupied by people from different classes and some 50 different nations, with their boarding houses, shipping offices, cafés, shops, etc. This exhibition, consisting of photographs and panels, explored these themes.

Aug – Dec 02
Tramp Steamers, Seamen & Sailortown: Jack Sullivan’s Paintings of Old Cardiff Docklands.
This was an exhibition of paintings by Jack Sullivan (recently deceased), former docks policeman (in the 1940s and 50s) and popular local artist. The exhibition was accompanied by a book.

May – July 2002
One Island, Many Faiths: 100 Years of Diverse Religions in Tiger Bay.
Through photographs, voices, moving images and text, this exhibition explored religious life in a culturally diverse community with panels on the local presence of a wide range of religious groups, i.e. Seamen’s missions, Methodist, Baptist, Quakers, Muslims, Catholic, Church in Wales and Greek Orthodox. Material from this exhibition has an after-life in the Butetown History & Arts Centre’s educational work. Although the exhibition was not accompanied by a book, we intend to do one.

Jan 02 –Feb 02
Our Place: Photographs by Butetown Youth.
This was an exhibition of imaginative, playful but skilful photographs taken in 1995 by young people from the Butetown area of Cardiff as part of a workshop led by British photographer Clement Cooper. A book based on these photographs will be published by BHAC in 2004.

July 01 – Oct 01
“Down the Bay”: Picture Post, Post-war Humanist Photography and the Divided City.
This was an exhibition of photographs of street life taken in Tiger Bay in 1950 by the famed Picture Post photographer Bert Hardy. A book of photographs and essays accompanied this exhibition.