Love, Honour, Truth and Molasses
Pandora’s Box

Black Art. Black Stories. Black Voices. from Disrupt Space

The beginning of an exciting new story. How Yahoo is supporting Black artists to enter the NFT digital art world.

Nov 24, 2021 Artist Statements

9 months ago

Each of the eight artworks brings the viewer inside a different imaginarium, offering an empowering encounter with a resilient and vital community at Disrupt Space – a London-based Black arts agency. These artworks will go live on November 29th. Learn more about the artists and their projects below.

Art, like fruit, is a passion and is central to our wellbeing and cohesion.

As a painter I’ve been journeying through oils to enable a soulful giving – with a beauty of imagery and depth of perception.

I’m perennially seeking to deliver a better overstanding of who we are as a ‘oneness, encapsulated in historical account and religious doctrine- to extract our contributions, and exaltations, essentially from an Afrocentric perspective.

My motivation remains figurative, but I’m currently journeying through what I call “Afstract Figurative.”

What excites me of late is an unobtrusive use of unconventional materials such as bitumen, soil and other sourced materials to mix with my paintings. This, married with a new step into immersive digital art space both challenge, and immensely intrigue me.

Moving forward, I dream to work from my birthplace of The Gambia and beyond, whilst travelling back and forth, home from home to the UK.

“Wherever we lay our feet, that’s our soil”

Love, Honour, Truth and Molasses
Pandora’s Box (As it was In the beginning)

Pandora according to Ancient Greek myth was the first human created by Hephaestus, under instruction of Zeus …All the Gods complied and gave her unique gifts, which she brings to us, and brings to the world.

A black butterfly is rare. It carries the beauty and energy of life-changing transformation, individuality and uniqueness. It is a symbol of rebirth and most importantly, it represents the death, of anything misfortunate. It releases itself from the box transforming into the gifts of Love, Honour, Truth and Molasses.

So contrary to what we now believe, Pandora is a gift-giver.

Pan – ‘All’

Doron- ‘All gifted’

Pandora is green of jade and red of ruby representing and absorbing the Earth and the planets and the stars… the reds and the yellows the greens and the blues of “nature” – of which we are all a part.

A shard of glass is removed from Her heart area and becomes multiplied and placed on the land, represented as 3 pyramids – Orion’s Belt. Indicating our 360 degree connectivity.

Pandora’s box. As it was in the beginning: So shall it be; so shall it be; so shall it be.


Pauline Boyenga Bofala

Pauline Boyenga Bofala (Browncoffeemoka) is a sensitive, conscientious and mystical artist  who is passionate about art history, history, ethnology, culture and spirituality. She is inspired  by different forms of art (like photography, sculpture, literature, fine art, craftsmanship) with  care for the environment being absolutely central to her work. Browncoffeemoka prepares  recycled materials to create her canvas. Her philosophical outlook is for nature, the universe  and humankind to be in harmony for there to be beauty and peace throughout the world. Her  works of art illustrate the energies and vibrations around her, as she creates sacred,  sustainable content to uplift and empower. Browncoffeemoka comments “creation is a  meditation.”

I have been trying to find a way to reach my ancestors spirit, my cultures’ pride and the true  essence of my being. Paying tribute to who I am is paying tribute to my cultural heritage and  to the ones who hit the road before me. I am the gathering and the celebration of my mother’s  tribe and of my father’s tribe and I flourish through this celebration, through this meeting of  my two lines. 

Poem: 

Where the sun is freezing and the snow is burning. 
Where volcanoes freeze and mountains melt. 
Where the snow heats and the sun cools. 
From the moon dust we shall flourish. 
Where the bitter wind flirts with the warmest rain. 
From lands where northern wolves and Southern leopards are friends. 
From lands where silver and copper are lovers. 
From lands where amber and malachite build each other. 
And yet, on those lands, celtic seas and bantu waters shine. 
And yet, on those lands, the chaos is divine. 
Under the same moon we shall dance. 
From the same moon we enhance. 
Hear my call precious souls 
Join my dream and let’s begin.

Browncoffeemoka uses pencil, pen, charcoal, chalks, acrylic, gouache and oil paints to  create mix media between collage, drawing, raw and abstract art, impulsive paint stroke  work and academic paintings. 


Elicia McKenzie 

Elicia was born in East London and her creative talent was first recognised by her mother at  the early age of 3 years old whilst sketching nursery rhyme characters. 

Elicia is an expressionist artist that mainly specialises in water-mixable oils and charcoal to  create either a representational or abstract art piece for an individual, organisation or event. 

Elicia’s recent ‘Movement’ and ‘Black Icons’ series represents her fascination with role  models, cars, metal and human connections. Even though very different in style and  medium, they are interlinked by the subjects’ kinetic and potential energy. 

Elicia creates figurative and abstract art that fascinates her and has just started a new  journey, to blend impressionism with her intimate emotions and powerful ideas. 

Show me the challenge and I will show you, my power.

This painting merges the sensual power of Shelana, an Icon who was loved by many, with  the beast of a Ford Mustang, which was one of her favourite cars. 

The thick layers of acyclic paint interlock and overlaps with each other to represent the  movement and connection of both the person and the car. The heavy use of red, black and  white paint is significant as the painting presents both their energy, elegance and power. By  merging these two loves, a new abstract piece is born for us to hold onto for eternity. 

Acyclic paint, 80 x 30 cm 

In loving memory of Shelana, my sister, Queen, Icon. 2021 


Gus Brooks-Simpson is an artist born and raised in London who is of  Jamaican descent, his work explores themes and concepts that humans  have engaged with since conception. 

Having no formal education in the arts or literature beyond second ary/high school, Gus’s discipline is primarily self cultivated, wavering  between a raw, expressive artform that leans heavily towards manga  and graffiti and on the other hand taking his autodidactic studies of  religion and culture, and, between these two worlds, striking a balance  which produces an unusual style which captivates and at the same time  expresses a deep inclination for contemplative thought regarding the  themes and concepts that influence his work.

An Ode To The Old World was created with the theme of communication in mind. 

This work pulls from multiple cultural epochs in which humans have  lived through and which remnants of their glory communicates to us  to this very day. 

As time has progressed humans have developed more sophisticated  tools to express ideas and share information. 

However there is also the narrative that our expanse into technolo gy comes at the expense of ourselves. Alienation from nature and her  creatures, and from each other within society being the consequence. 

There is an ironic and even a poetic relationship humans have with the  things we create. Whatever their purpose may be. Which in turn af fects the way we interact with one another 


Isis Raheem

Isis Raheem is a British-born Afrofuturist whose practice spans: graphic novels, NFTs and traditional  paint and canvas.  

Common themes in her work include: near future speculation, Pan-Africanism, government  surveillance and the onset of post-privacy society.  

As a creator of work that is at times provocative, Isis holds that provocation is part of the negotiation of language and meaning.  

Deer Stalker #76 from the project SIGINT// Tools

Materials: digital painting  

Size: 189.00 x 264.00mm 600dpi, (4465 x 6236 pixels)  

Number 76 in a list of 139 collectable cards, Deer Stalker is part of the NFT collection, SIGINT// Tools.  

Each collectable card represents a tool as it appears in the formally top secret Government  Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) wiki – a catalogue of tools and techniques developed by The  Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group (JTRIG), a secret unit of GCHQ, the existence of which was  revealed by documents leaked by Edward Snowden.  

SIGINT// Tools, is the first NFT collection created by British artist and Afrofuturist, Isis Raheem.  Collect the uniquely illustrated tools and explore the secretive world of British surveillance. 


Lola Betiku 

Lola Betiku – better known by the moniker ‘Labet’ – is a self-taught Nigerian-British painter based in East London.  Labet’s work serves as a figurative and abstract diary which explores themes of identity and representation. 

Drawing influence from her rich Nigerian heritage, many elements of her work converse with the ideas of belonging  and femininity which she uses to reflect on how these evolve within cultural and traditional expectations.  

Labet’s paintings narrate stories about nostalgia, relationships, and interactions within our daily endeavors. 

Acrylic on canvas is the main choice of medium for Labet when creating her deeply expressive works, with a  particular focus on the use of a vibrant palette of colours as well as bold patterns. Both elements are often used  concurrently to explore the emotional complexities and narratives in each painting. 

KOBO FOR YOUR THOUGHTS. 2021

Acrylic paint on canvas 50x50cm

I created this painting as part of an ongoing series that explores self-care and the ways we overcome feelings of uncertainty or doubt. This piece explores the sensitivities of displacement and the struggles of adapting to change. It is about entering new spaces, delving into new worlds, opening up to new ventures, and new perspectives by leaving your comfort zone. In this painting I have started experimenting more with my practice and techniques by moving to a more visibly abstract style. 

Each object in the painting represents an aspect of cultural belonging but ties in with the notion of coming out of  your shell. The head-wrap for example, is not only used to adorn and protect a black woman’s crown but in this  piece, it is unraveling the jewels of an explored mind. Elsewhere the wooden hair pick is painted gold symbolising it  as a precious tool used to start the process of change and depicts both the excitement and therapy black women  experience when doing their hair. The floating orange also represents the first fruits coming through after a new  beginning.  

The idea of coasting and letting time pass by without realising is something that scares me, and I often question this through my work.  

Painting is a source of therapy and is the way I express my thoughts as well as personal and shared experiences.


Sekai Machache

Sekai Machache (she/her) is a Zimbabwean-Scottish visual artist and curator based in  Glasgow, Scotland. Her work is a deep interrogation of the notion of self. She is interested in  the relationship between spirituality, imagination, and the role of the artist in disseminating  symbolic imagery to provide a space for healing. Sekai works with a wide range of media  including photography. Her photographic practice is formulated through digital studio based compositions utilising body paint and muted lighting to create images that appear to  emerge from darkness. 

Sekai is the recipient of the 2020 RSA Morton Award and is an artist in residence with the  Talbot Rice Residency Programme 2021-2023. She recently joined Edinburgh Sculpture  Workshop as a board member.

Sekai works internationally and often collaboratively and is a founding and organising  member of the Yon Afro Collective (YAC).

The High Priestess

The High Priestess is part of an ongoing tarot card series by visual artist and curator Sekai  Machache. This series focuses on the Major Arcana.  

The 2nd Major Arcana card in the Tarot Deck, representing mystery, stillness and reflection,  The High Priestess symbolises the time for withdrawal and instinctive self-guidance. In the  image, a figure stands illuminated in the dark yawning of a cave, shrouded and still, wearing  Blue of the Horizon, a period style dress designed in collaboration with artist and seamstress  Fiona Catherine Powell. The figure holds a stance in place that signifies ritualistic  movements similar to the gestures in the film Profound Divine Sky.  

The dress and veil are signifiers of divine knowledge and The High Priestesses’ leadership,  usually represented by a blue robe and a horned diadem. In her re-working a dark veil  obscures the face, the hands are cradling and bare. Guardian of the subconscious mind she  flits between these mind realms without hindrance and provides an ethereal knowledge of  the Cosmos, a profound enlightenment on that which is hidden.  

This image was shot in caves at Auchmithie on the East coast of Scotland during a month long residency period at Hospitalfield House in Arbroath where the artist created her first  tarot card in the series, The Hierophant.  

The High Priestess was captured by Antanas Budvytis with artistic direction, styling, and  performance by Sekai Machache.  


Sharon Adebisi

Born in London, UK in the late 90’s, Sharon Adebisi is a contemporary artist who uses paintings to capture her thoughts and experiences as she attempts to navigate adulthood. Whilst her acrylic-on-canvas based pieces are created more for self-reflection and release, a welcomed by-product is others being able to relate to their subject.  

Her most recent works explore the identity issues she faces as a British-African hybrid, and the conflict between embracing her African roots yet assimilating to her British culture.  Her latest series ‘The Ghana Series’ journals the emotions she encountered upon visiting the ‘motherland’ Africa for the first time. 

Sharon’s work has been exhibited/auctioned with various organisations across the world, including Zari Gallery, Woolwich Works, Sky Arts and Sotheby’s.
The Brixton Bustle

Upon exploring Brixton for the first time a few years ago, the one thing that stood out to me was the presence of culture. Whilst in some parts of Brixton the culture of the community had been noticeably whitewashed due to gentrification, in other parts such as the Brixton Market, the culture remained strong. 

Visiting Brixton Market a few months ago, compelled me to create a painting celebrating its authenticity and richness in spirit. Gentrification tries to replicate culture whilst excluding the people that create it, but through this painting I wanted to emphasise the fact that the true spirit of a community can only exist where its original inhabitants and their descendants reside. 


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