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Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley: Haunting Alongside Our Shadows

23rd October 2021 - 9th January 2022 Free

Open: Wednesday - Sunday 12.00pm – 4.00pm

Private View and Exhibition Launch: Friday 24 September 2021 at 6pm

Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley is an artist and game developer who builds digital archives celebrating the lives and histories of her Black Trans ancestors.

Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley’s Haunting Alongside Our Shadows at QUAD is the artists’ first major solo exhibition in the UK and features new commissioned work. Danielle bases her work in historical happenings, creating video-game inspired artworks that form part of her Black Trans archive, highlighting the concerns and rights of this community through immersive storytelling. For her exhibition at QUAD she presents an entire body of ambitious digital and interactive artworks, creating animated ghostly imaginings of her non-gendered ancestors – whose beliefs are recorded and presented in glyphs, song and motion-captured dancing bodies that will appear as phantom-like figures across the gallery.

The large-screen work Black Trans Sea (2021) is, similar to most works in the exhibition, an immersive video game the viewer can play. It references Magical Realism – the idea of mixing mythical reality with realistic fiction – and features black pirates in a virtual video game environment that confronts a dark period in history: colonialism. 

Mixing horror with futuristic fiction, visitors will be guided through this multisensory exhibition and invited to think of how their own stories and ancestral histories are interlinked with the histories of Black Trans people. The entire gallery space will react depending on where the viewer is and what they do; therefore the viewer becomes at times the connector for the work.  Using Motion Captured animated figures and screens large and small, this exhibition will manifest around the visitor – creating a literal shadowed haunting that will give those from the past a voice here in the present. 

The exhibition is co-curated by Helen Starr, The Mechatronic Library, and Peter Bonnell, QUAD Senior Curator.

Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley is QUAD International Digital Fellow 2020-2021. As QUAD Digital Fellow Danielle will continue to develop a series of talks and engagement events alongside their year-long fellowship and exhibition.

Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley Biography

Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley is an artist working predominantly in animation, sound, performance and Video Games to communicate the experiences of being a Black Trans person. Their practice focuses on recording the lives of Black Trans people, intertwining lived experience with fiction to imaginatively retell Trans stories. Spurred on by a desire to record of "History of Trans people both living and past" their work can often be seen as a Trans archive where Black Trans people are stored for the future.

Throughout history, Black queer and Trans people have been erased from the archives. Because of this it is necessary not only to archive our existence, but also the many creative narratives we have used and continue to use to share our experiences.

Danielle's work has been shown in Science Gallery, MU, Barbican, Tate, Les Urbains as well as being part of the BBZ Alternative Graduate Show at the Copeland Gallery.

An online component of their work can often be found at: