image by Liane Harris
Helena Appio is a Nigerian-born artist and an award winning film maker, textile designer, artist and educator. She studied at The Central School of Art and received a First Class Honours in Printed Textiles and Fashion from Middlesex Polytechnic. Her creative output defies easy classification but exhibits a profound commitment to the stories of humble people existing outside the media limelight, whose everyday work makes a difference in the world.
Arnolfini presents two of her documentaries, as part of an expanded programme curated in response to Hassan Hajjaj: The Path and mark the beginning of Black History Month .
DJ Derek’s Sweet Memory Sounds, made for the BBC in 1994 (30 minutes), is a portrait of the much-loved late Bristolian DJ, and former Cadbury’s Accountant known as ‘the blackest white man in Britain’, a key influence on Don Letts and Massive Attack.
A Portrait of Mr Pink (1998, 15 minutes) tells the story of a Jamaican singer who settled in Lewisham in the 1950s, worked as a refuse collector and street cleaner, and whose vividly painted house dazzled all who passed it.
The two films share a wonder for the stories of seemingly very ordinary people who did something extraordinary, sharing creative passions which brought people together.