Peer to Peer with Rianna Jade Parker

Rianna Jade Parker is a critic, curator and researcher based in South London where she studied her MA in Contemporary Art Theory at Goldsmiths College, University of London.She is a founding member of interdisciplinary collective Thick/er Black Lines, whose work was exhibited in the landmark exhibition Get Up, Stand Up Now: Generations of Black Creative Pioneers at Somerset House, London. She is a Contributing Editor of Frieze magazine and co-curated War Inna Babylon: The Community’s Struggle for Truths and Rights at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London.

VP:  How did you get your start in the art world? 

RJP:  Well, really, I snuck in through the back door and they haven’t been able to get rid of me. As a teenager, I started volunteering in public museums and heritage sites around London looking for a places that would stimulate my interest in Black art and culture. I began to collaborate with like-minded people from my growing online community and travelling to cities like NYC gave me hands-on experience.

VP:  What was your first notable project? 

RJP:  In 2017, my artist collective Thick/er Black Lines, presented We Apologise For The Delay To Your Journey – a graphic design identifying and connecting Black British women/femme artists and cultural workers at Tate Modern for 6 weeks alongside a specialist library, co-working space and a series of public programming.

VP:  What was your first breakthrough

RJP:  I wrote a book for art for Tate Publishing titled ‘A Brief History of Black British Art’ and I co-curated a record-breaking exhibition ‘War Inna Babylon: The Community’s Struggle for Truths and Rights’ at the ICA London in 2021 before turning 30.

VP:  What are you working on now / next? 

RJP:  I’m currently archival research for various artist films and documentaries. And for my own pleasure, I’m writing my second book about the lives of some Black Caribbean women who have helped me to author my own life.

Stream Total Reggae:  Love Songs