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Cambridge Artworks

SKIN DEEP EDUCATION came about from the research that Joshua Obichere did as part of his masters degree in Education at Cambridge. One of the main outcomes from Joshua's research was a solo exhibition titled SKIN DEEP | Blackness In Portraiture . See photos below from the Exhibition

SKIN DEEP | Blackness In Portraiture

Blackness in Portraiture was a solo exhibition which took place from 19th July 2022 to 25th July 2022 at Cambridge Artworks. All the pieces in the exhibition were created by Joshua Obichere as part of his master’s research at The University of Cambridge. Over 150 people attended across the week including the master of Downing College, Cambridge.

It was a demonstration of the student’s own perceptions of blackness that Joshua was
able to replicate as the final pieces you see in the video and the gallery below. The public were invited to name the pieces and this made the exhibition interactive. It was a great opportunity to get involved and for the public to engage in the work.


"At the time, my students were focusing on portraits as a theme.

As a portrait artist myself, I took the opportunity to take my students, following consent, to
be involved in my study on blackness. As a male black art teacher, I recognised that I was a minority,
however, with the students from all school year groups wanting to know more about me, I became
determined to explore my own blackness as well as getting my sixth form students able and
comfortable to speak openly about race. The project deals with perception and the way my
, who are not black, see blackness" ~ Joshua Obichere

The skin-deep booklets were made as a way to engage students in the creative process of making their
own pieces of art. Through the influence of black artists and photographers, students were able to
study and learn about the artists and style. Due to the limitation of time, students were not able to

complete the full final piece, however, it was a project that they heavily enjoyed. Students embraced the activities

and saw the need for black representation and diverse representation, to be included in the curriculum.


The purpose of the exhibition was to open up dialogue about social justice using art. The opportunity for students to learn about black artists and photographers, as well as applying it in their work, shows how applicable skin deep education is. Students became knowledgeable about black representation, and learnt from Joshua's own experience as an art educator.

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