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Artist of the Month- October: Edi J Mandala

Artist biography

Edi Mandala is a black multimedia artist based in Brighton that specializes in mosaic art. He has developed his practice whilst working for over 20 years in mental health, family services and community safety as a qualified Art Therapist.

Edi has dedicated the past 5 years creating BLAQ MUSE, an anti racist project that addresses questions arising from the hostile environments experienced from systemic racism such as: What does a ‘Person of Difference’ need to know about living in racist societies? How do we recover from generations of racial trauma in our lifetimes? How do we help each other?

To create BLAQ MUSE, Edi undertook a new behavioural /mental health regime that involved wearing kilts exclusively and changing his art process completely, by combining photography with digital / fine art and concrete poetry, with elements of music, poetry, and animation into graphic novel formats.

Some examples of Edi’s work (that he refers to as Pfunkoems) can be found via these links:

Taking inspiration from “The Negro Motorist Green Book” by Victor Hugo Green and Maya Angelou’s quote: “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you” – Edi set about creating books that he himself needed when he was a black child upon first encountering racist trauma; it is aimed at reducing impacts of racism and empowerment for all ‘people of difference’ who lean towards exploring and resolving social inequalities and desire to stop the intergenerational cycles of abuse that perpetuate bigotry.

From this process 4 BLAQ MUSE publications emerged that provide Checklists, New Lexicons & ‘forensic evidence’ to analyse ‘racist behaviours’ within a satirical, character driven story line:

- “Edi Jay & Edi Tor Go Paddle Boarding” about the role of mentorship and elders in Black Communities

- “BRANCHES” – An anti racist Anthology for young PODs (People Of Difference)

- “The Un BIGOT Ten” –graphic novel introducing anti racist superheroes using the theoretical framework known as Black Quantum Futurism

- “The VADIC BATTLES” – 8 page comic about the invisible impact of racialised trauma upon us all

- “The BIGOTOPIA COMPENDIUM” – An anti racist's ACTIVITIES & POSTERS Book that Edi presented live online for the entire day of 25th September 2021 as a presentation of Anti Racism as Performance Art. Watch the introductory video via Youtube (provided with the kind help of Zindere Auguste, Tony Kalume and Gil Doron.)

Future: Edi is entering another stage of creativity by opening up the information to the public to develop BLAQ MUSE further by: completing the animation, music and workshop interventions in collaboration with diverse groups and anti racist ‘creatives’.

Recent Exhibitions / Installations / Interviews & Projects:

You can discover more about his work below.

Instagram : @Edijaymandala


There is still time to apply to be our Artist of the Month in April! If you sell your own socially engaged work online, you can apply here.


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