Blak Box - From Physical Exhibition To Virtual Reality

September 13, 2021

Damel Carayol with artwork, John The Baptist

The Blak Box exhibition was held from 27th – 29th August 2021 at Brixton’s Department Store to admire the fine work of several emerging contemporary visual artists. Our artists exhibited their artwork in a programme that included 3 commissioned short films. We shared our new collection of prints, launched our virtual gallery and each day participants gathered to discuss some of the critical issues facing Black artists.



Michael Healy, the CEO of Octagon Studio demonstrated the power of the app.

The Disrupt Space app (available for both Apple and Android devices) allows visitors to explore the work of our artists in a new virtual gallery. Download the app (see QR code below) and in augmented reality mode, you can import art into your space (home and office) with an option to purchase an original work of art. 

View inside the Disrupt Space virtual gallery

Founder Paul (Pablo) Reid - Black Box a philosophical discussion and prototype.

It was a perfect environment for a full-on discussion. Surrounded with incredible art, Paul (Pablo) acknowledged all the artists present and invited contributions, provoking at times with questions like, “have we arrived at the point of rejecting the 'Black tick box' or do we accept its constraints?” 

 Lola Betiku (labet) presenting her art. On her right is Ascend. Ara, Okan and Emi are the 3 that comprise the set in the centre and Untitled I is on her left.

The main focus of the event programme was the artists’ work and the launch of the mobile app. What a great addition to our offer! 

Elicia McKenzie with her Black Icon (above) and Movement Series (below) contrasting chalk and char coal portraits with acrylic layered abstracts.

Pauline's Autoportrait (left) and Elicia's Red Movement (right) augmented into a living space 

The app development is in stages. Phase 1 opened the first room of a virtual gallery. Phase 2 adds more rooms for curated exhibitions. Running parallel with this are developments with immersive technology. Here we are working with Ralph Appelbaum Associates (exhibition designers) and Sysco Productions (story engineers). All these  creative and technical strands come together to ensure that we are not left behind in the world of technology or just participating as consumers. There is so much more to come on this theme of art and tech. Watch this space! 

Sekai Machache traverses the relationship between spirituality,
imagination and the role of the artists to provide a space for healing.

At the end of the day, none of this would be possible without our tremendously talented artists to create 3 days of compelling engagement. 

Bryony speaking about being inspired by the natural world and her journeys into horticulture, botany, heritage and mythology.

Pauline Boyenga Bofala (Browncoffeemoka) communes with her Ancestors and explores aspects of her identity to create works of art using recycled materials.

Gus Brooks-Simpson and Sekai marvel at Gus’s work, now presenting his deep thought creations, having progressed from acrylic on canvas to acrylic glass.

We’re really pleased with the excellent feedback and seeing the development of our artists, as we collectively shift the dial on the growth of Black art. 

We were pleased to receive funding from London Community Response Fund, co-ordinated through our partners Ideas Foundation who have been with us every step of the way. 


To get on board

Download the free app [Disrupt Space Art] and share it with your friends, family and colleagues.  

Special Thanks to our corporate partners Octagon Studio, Ideas Foundation, Ralph Applebaum Associates, Sysco Productions, Global Academy, Studio 73, Decoded, The Department Store, Central Saint Martins (UAL), Vine Creatives, Adisa, the Verbalizer, special guest Brenda Emmanus and all our supporters and brilliant artists who exhibited at Blak Box:


  • Bryony Benge-Abbott

  • Damel Carayol

  • Elicia McKenzie

  • Gus Brooks-Simpson

  • Ibim Cookey

  • Isis Raheem

  • Lee White-Samuels

  • Lola Betiku

  • Pauline Boyenga Bofala 

  • Sekai Machache 

  • Sharon Adebisi

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