As a curator and visual art researcher interested in activating archives of Black art, looking into Rita Keegan and SLG’s archive presented a fresh perspective of aspects of Keegan’s life, artistic practice and her local community in South London during the pivotal UK Black Arts Movement. Undertaking this research project provided a lens to look at intersections of race, gender and family history through Keegan’s archive.
black women artists
Her visitors came from around the world and it was quite a commitment for people to travel out to this 15thcentury Tudor palace in the middle of a park in southwest London. Undaunted, there were many Black artists, scholars and students who would make that trip to see Rita. I quickly understood how this feminist art library project thrived and produced new knowledge through the art of conversation and welcome in that front room, and most of this was achieved at Rita’s desk.