Birmingham & Black Country

Contents of Vanley Burke's flat to be exhibited

The "entire contents" of a Birmingham photographer's flat are to be moved to a city art gallery for an exhibition.

The Ikon Gallery wants to show the work of Vanley Burke, who has been documenting the lives of African Caribbean people since the 1960s.

Ikon's deputy director Debbie Kermode said: "Burke's home is extraordinary - a cabinet of wonderful curiosities."

The interior of the flat will be reconstructed at the gallery and is due to go on public display next summer.

Ikon, in Brindley Place, has begun a public appeal through the Art Fund to raise £17,000 needed to open the exhibition.

Jamaican Mr Burke has been an avid collector of records, paintings, sculptures and every day objects.

"The idea is to collect what makes us, what makes the people," he said.

"We are constructed by what we consume, not just what we eat but what informs us.

"This flat is many things, it's an archive, it's a gallery, it's my home, it's where I collect a part of our history."

Crowd image by Vanley Burke
Vanley Burke has been a photographer since the 1960s

He said his collection gave "another reference" to help viewers of his photographs understand the lives of the people he had pictured over the decades.

Ikon said Burke was sometimes referred to as the "grandfather of Black British photography".

It said the planned exhibition - At Home with Vanley Burke - would show the public the "fascinating" items from the artist's Nechells flat.

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