Tanoa Sasraku

O' Pierrot

25 February – 11 March 2023



Opening Night, Friday 24th Feb, 6-9pm

Please Note: The exhibition will be closed Saturday 25th, 3-5pm for Tanoa Sasraku’s Artist Talk (taking place next door at Leicester Print Workshop) book your place here.

Two Queens is proud to present a screening exhibition of Tanoa Sasraku’s ‘O ‘Pierrot’.

Through the narrative of Pierrot the Clown, and the aesthetic of Kenneth Anger’s pioneering
avant-garde, queer film Rabbit’s Moon, Tanoa Sasraku’s 2019 film O’ Pierrot explores the
quest for British acceptance from a black British perspective.

In Sasraku’s film, Pierrot Mulatto (played by the artist) is on a quest to catch a giant
sycamore seed that spins down every day from the arms of Harlequin Jack, a crazed black
man in whiteface, driven mad by his own quest for British acceptance.

Jack toys with Pierrot throughout, performing a satirical essence of white British sensibility
whilst referencing early minstrel troupes’ caricatures of the post-slavery, black populace.
Mixed-race Pierrot is encouraged to strive for her ‘white potential’ whilst battling rejection,
rage, and the bending of time amidst the English countryside.

The story of the black, British experience: one driven by misplaced loyalty, melancholy, and
historical reprise stands as a mirror to the traditional tale of Pierrot’s existence under
Harlequin’s thumb. This forms the narrative pillar for Sasraku’s semi-autobiographical
fairytale whilst the script is built upon a colliding of verses from the Jim Crow-era song
‘Jump Jim Crow’ and lesser-known passages from the British National Anthem.

Tanoa Sasraku’s practice shifts between sculpture, drawing, print and filmmaking. Her
stitched and torn newsprint works are inspired by the Fante Asafo flags of coastal Ghana
and geometric forms found in Tartan cloth, towers and pinnacles of rock. Her own banners
map personal stories of a life lived in modern Britain, as newsprint, pigment and basic craft
processes bind together to create cryptic, ceremonial objects. In her practice as a filmmaker,
Sasraku engages in retellings of traditional folklore from a black and lesbian perspective, as
well as producing more diaristic journeys through her past, via the medium of analogue film.

An Artist Talk by Tanoa Sasraku will take place on Saturday 25th February, 3-5pm, hosted by our neighbours Leicester Print Workshop. Book your place here.

This exhibition is made possible by public funding from The National Lottery through Arts Council England.