As part of our Mental Health and Wellbeing project we run an art group, during lockdown we had to get even more creative and turned our art sessions into virtual zoom sessions instead. As October is Black History Month we decided to get the group involved and celebrated by focusing on the art of a black artist or designer who had influenced British history.  We chose textile designer Althea McNish, originally from Trinidad and Tobago she came to London in the 1950s to study at the Royal College of Art. Most of Althea’s work is based on nature and combines Caribbean inspired patterns and colours.  Her prints injected colour into post-war Britain. Here are a few examples of her prints. 

Photo credit: Althea McNish’s Hibiscus print, 1958.Photo: © Althea McNish, courtesy of Althea McNish & John Weiss

Photo credit: Althea McNish (1933-2020), Golden Harvest, 1959, screen-printed cotton satin. The Whitworth, The University of Manchester

Inspired by McNish's use of bold colours, nature and floral patterns, the art group produced these beautiful collages using materials from crafts kits sent out during lockdown.  

We'd encourage you to do your own research, which black artists are you inspired by? We'd love to hear your suggestions!