top of page

Black Spatial Elegance (BSE): Serious Tings

Thursday, July 8, 2021 at 12:00:00 AM UTC

On the occasion of Gary Simmons: The Engine Room, the Henry hosts #SeriousTings, a panel with #WayneChen in conversation with road music manager Steve "Urchin" Wilson and Special Guest, film/tv producer, art collector, and Serious T'ings author Maxine Walters.   

Wayne Chen in conversation with Steve "Urchin" Wilson + Special Guest Maxine Walters

BCC Facebook Event

YouTube Live  ~&~  BSE Serious Tings Playlist

The title "Serious Tings" comes from the book "Serious T'ings Ah Go Happen: Three Decades of #JamaicanDancehall Signs" by art collector and film/television producer #MaxineWalters.  It features over 200 hand-painted Jamaican #dancehall music and event posters dating back to the early 1980s.  Maxine began collecting these pieces over 30 years ago.  

A common feature of urban, rural, and coastal landscapes of Jamaica, these posters are often installed illegally on light posts and trees advertising dances, concerts, parties, and bar "bashments".  This collection speaks to the history of dancehall, a style of reggae music that emerged in the 70s.  The aesthetics, palettes, and textures of this featured poster collection is in direct inspirational relationship to the textures and colours seen in #GarySimmon's Garage Band currently on view at the Henry, and prior poster installations that call on his Caribbean roots. 

The "Serious T'ings" book features essays by Man Booker Prize author and former music graphic artist #MarlonJames, musician + journalist #VivianGoldman, with contributions from Wayne Chen, and scholar #CarolynCooper, interviews with #MutaBaruka and #MikieBennett of #GraftonStudios, "The Lunatic" author Tony Winkler, and dance hall tracks curated by Mikie Bennett and Rory of #StoneLove

Books by our guests:

Serious Things A Go Happen: Three Decades of Jamaican Dancehall Signs

By Maxine Walters

Reggae Routes: The Story of Jamaican Music

By Kevin O’Brien Chang and Wayne Chen

LOOK DOWN: Sh*t You May Have Missed!

By Steve Wilson

Follow the Panelists:   MAXINE WALTERS  Instagram: @maxine.walters   

STEVE "URCHIN" WILSON  Instagram: @brandnwmachine   

WAYNE CHRISTOPHER CHEN  Twitter: @wcchen  

This program was organized by Berette S Macaulay

All Media design by Chile Dulce

Tech Production by Mita Mahato


Hosted by Henry Art Gallery to compliment the Gary Simmons: The Engine Room exhibition.

Program Partners:  Black Cinema Collective, Wa Na Wari, Langston Seattle, Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF), and Henry Art Gallery. This program is closes a 3-part inaugural series of gatherings that recognizes and celebrates #BlackMusicMonth in Seattle, foregrounding the influence of Black music through the visual and cinematic legacies of videos, films, art direction + design produced by Black storytellers throughout the diaspora.

bottom of page