Jamaica Hidden Histories : Sugar Was King

Presented by Full Spectrum Productions and New Art Exchange


New Art Exchange, Gregory Boulevard, Nottingham, NG7 6BE

5 September- 1 November 2015

Launch Event: 5 September 2015, 12pm- 2pm


Admission FREE

Opening times: Mon 10.30am – 3.30am, Tue – Fri 10.30am – 6pm, Sat 9.30am – 5pm, Sun 11.30 – 5pm





Jamaica Hidden Histories, Sugar Was King explores the cultural and historical links between Britain and Jamaica, in an exhibition of archival photographs, oral histories and video installations.


The exhibition has developed as part of Jamaica Hidden Histories, a two-year national project which unravels narratives surrounding Jamaica, and is ‘supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund’. Lorna Holder, Curator and Managing Director of Full Spectrum Productions, emphasises the importance of exploring the alternate histories which shape our cultural identity yet remain unspoken. She explains: “The Jamaica Hidden Histories project is about all those pages that have been ripped out regarding our cultural heritage.  It’s about all the stories that have been told and not always documented, and the documents that have been written and not always read.”


The exhibition features the work of notable Jamaican-born artists from Nottingham, Esmel May Woma and Lorna Holder, as well as rare selected prints capturing everyday life in Jamaica at the turn of the 20th century, illustrating how lifestyles have radically changed over the past 100 years.  Oral histories have been unearthed for Sugar Was King through a workshop held at NAE in August 2014. Jamaican elders residing in Nottingham shared their memories of traditional sweets and treats, made and eaten while growing up in Jamaica. These testimonies are revived, in an exhibition that explores how sugar has left a legacy central to British and Jamaican heritage.


The exhibition has an important social role in sharing histories between generations. As Lorna explains: “Through this project, [histories] are brought to light for young people and elders from diverse communities to connect with their own heritage. This project will establish a legacy that future generations can explore and expand upon.”


Editors notes

For further information, images and interviews please contact Marketing and Communications Manager at New Art Exchange, Laura-Jade Klée, laurajade@nae.org.uk, 0115 924 8630.



About Full Spectrum Productions Ltd.

Full Spectrum Productions, formed in 2004, is a BME not-for-profit production company. The main purpose is to design, develop and deliver interactive community educational projects to inform, enable learning and participation.  Our activities include research, volunteer training, theatre/film productions, publications and events relating to the varied social issues, past and present that are topical in diverse Britain.


About New Art Exchange

New Art Exchange is a contemporary art gallery and cultural venue committed to stimulating new perspectives on the value of diversity within art and society. New Art Exchange is the largest space in the UK dedicated to culturally diverse contemporary visual arts, and is rooted in the community with a strong history of working with minority communities. NAE partners locally, nationally and internationally, connecting audiences and artists from all over the world with new and innovative collaborations and opportunities.

NAE’s mission is to raise the impact, profile and development of culturally diverse contemporary visual arts and artists in a global context by:

– Nurturing and promoting creative talent locally and world-wide

– Creating thriving creative businesses

– Engaging minority ethnic communities as audiences and patrons of art


Heritage Lottery Fund

From the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife, we use National Lottery players’ money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about.  www.hlf.org.uk. The project 50 Years of Jamaican Influence on Britain was supported with a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £254,000.


Other partners are: Rich Mix; London Metropolitan Archives; Royal Geographical Society with IBG; Tuareg Productions Ltd; The Voice; The Weekly Gleaner; and JAMPRO


www.nae.org.uk | 0115 924 8630 | info@nae.org.uk | @newartexchange