Kim Thompson is a visual artist based in Nottingham.
Informed by her Black-Caribbean heritage, Kim's practice centres Black British history, generational diaspora andsubculture.
Via oral histories, community workshops and portraiture, Kim's work seeks to reframe and empower documented Black and migrant experiences, away from homogenous identity and trauma-based narratives.
Title: The Millers
About the work
In 1974, the artist’s maternal family pose for a photograph in their Church Of God Of Prophecy (COGOP) function room. Each member dressed in Sunday best, hand sewn by central figure, matriarch and Women’s Missionary Band leader, Stelma Miller.
Lead by the Empire Windrush promise of work and stability in Britain, yet excluded from much of the social and economic life around them, West Indian migrants adjusted the institutions they brought with them. From Front Room culture to Black churches, Caribbeans fostered communities, pooled skills and resources, and raised families.
The Millers reflect the experience of many first generation Caribbeans, driven to carve out their dreams in a promised land that didn’t welcome them.
With churches forming a primary safe space for Black communities to organise and congregate, the piece features a reimagined COGOP flag, referencing Nottingham’s prominent Black church in which Samuel and Stelma Miller held positions of authority.
‘’I’m thrilled to be exhibiting at Saatchi. It would be incredible to be supported in further developing my work, which aims to create a visual archive of West Indian and migrant / Black British experience, to document and preserve our own stories our way. Black Caribbeans are part of the fabric of British history, I would like to honour that with something permanent and accessible.’’