Mirror Reflecting Darkly: The Rita Keegan Archive

Documenting the artistic practice of Rita Keegan: from exhibitions at major venues to everyday life as a working Black female artist.

From the Bronx to Soho to Brixton, Mirror Reflecting Darkly is an exploration of the artist Rita Keegan’s archive collection. Part autobiography and part critical history, it reproduces a cross-section of Keegan’s archive, mapping an artistic practice that ranges from her exhibitions at such major museums and galleries as the ICA and the Tate to her curatorship of the Women of Colour Index, a groundbreaking 1987 initiative that documented Black and Asian women artists. It includes records of Keegan’s journey through different creative environments of London in the 1980s and 1990s, offering rare ephemera drawn from her involvement in the Black British Art movement, covering her years as a fixture of Soho clubland, and documenting the intimate traces of her everyday life as a working Black female artist.

Accompanying the selections from the archive are essays and personal reflections from a range of writers, academics and artists–including Keegan herself–which expand upon the themes from the material: networks of creative kinship, the story of British Black Arts, self-archiving, and archiving as activism.


Barby Asante, Ego Ahaiwe Sowinski, Mora J. Beauchamp-Byrd, Janice Cheddie, Lauren Craig, Lucy Davies, Althea Greenan, Joy Gregory, Hiroko Hagiwara, Matthew Harle, Rita Keegan, Shaheen Merali, Naomi Pearce



Rita Keegan: Somewhere Between There and Here

Opening w/c: 20th September 2021

The presentation in the SLG’s Archive room precedes an upcoming exhibition by the artist in Galleries 2, 3 and 4 of the Fire Station between 6 May – 28 June. Keegan’s installation works combine audiovisual material with textiles, 2D multimedia works, and experiential media such as scent, to explore memory, history, dress and adornment. She also draws on her extensive family archive, a photographic record of a black middle class Canadian family from the 1890s to the present day.

South London Gallery Fire Station
82 Peckham Road, SE15 5LQ

The Rita Keegan Archive (Project) Archival Display

Feb 2020 – Jan 2021

The display in the SLG’s Archive room features Keegan’s personal papers, offering a rare opportunity to see a range of materials and ephemera from the Black British Art scene spanning the 1980s to the early 2000s.

South London Gallery Fire Station Archive Room
82 Peckham Road, SE15 5LQ


The Other Art Show — 20/20 A Brief Survey

Postponed due to COVID-19.

A multi-media exhibition delivering an immersive experience for the Mind, Body & Soul. Look forward to a spectrum of national & international works plus a panel conversation, a well being session by Emerald And Tiger, a live recording of Artfully Podcast, and a Friday Night Late Collaborative takeover DISCO & Nail Art. Curated by Aida Wilde & Ego Ahaiwe Sowinski.

The Old Truman Brewery
Brick Lane
London E1

Hub Sessions 

Monthly workshops will be hosted at the Women’s Art Library, Goldsmiths, University of London, where the Project Lead will lead trainee archivists and volunteers to explore the archive in open discussion groups. The sessions will develop the trainee archivists’ and volunteer’s practical skills: from managing a heritage website, to document and object handling, to conducting oral histories. From this work, an online guide and educational resource pack around artists’ archives will be drawn for use in community and school settings. This will be based around themes and issues emerging from the archive such as gender, race, family, memory, digital technology.

If you are interested in attending our hub sessions, please email:



The fundamental purpose of the project is to consolidate, repackage, catalogue, and digitise the archive of Rita Keegan and deposit it at the Women’s Art Library, Goldsmiths, University of London.