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School of Business and Management

Heritage Management graduate curates ‘Icons of Colour’ exhibition, in conjunction with the National Portrait Gallery

A Queen Mary Heritage Management MA graduate has co-curated a ground-breaking exhibition celebrating inspirational people of colour, which includes works loaned from the National Portrait Gallery.

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Aisha Tahir

Aisha Tahir, who graduated from Queen Mary in 2020, curated the exhibition as part of her role as Heritage Assistant at Brent Museum and Archives.

Icons of Colour shares the stories and achievements of people of colour with connections to the London Borough of Brent. It includes the first public display of the National Portrait Gallery’s new portrait of best-selling author Zadie Smith, as well as loaned portraits of footballer Raheem Sterling, actor Riz Ahmed and jazz musician Courtney Pine.

Aisha said: "Working on Icons of Colour has been an immense pleasure! Museums have a responsibility not just to tell the stories of the past, but also to reflect the present and impact the future, and this exhibition embodies this. I am glad to be playing a part in increasing the diversity of the stories that museums tell, and to be working towards representing Brent's communities."

New acquisitions to the Brent Musuem and Archives collection, including a charcoal drawing of footballer Cyrille Regis and photographic portrait of rapper and comedian Ben Bailey Smith (Doc Brown), will complement the display.

The free exhibition will run until 27 February 2022 at the Brent Museum and Archives, based in Willesden Green, and will feature a range of free art workshops for families.

Find out more about Heritage Management MA, delivered in partnership with Historic Royal Palaces.