New Orleans, LA, September 13, 2019 – Demond Melancon, the Big Chief of the Mardi Gras Indian group Young Seminole Hunters based in the Lower 9th Ward, is presently showing his beaded suits in an exhibition titled “Black Masking Culture” at the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) as part of the 2019 London Design Festival.
The 9th-annual London Design Festival explores global perspectives on cultural heritage and identity through art and fashion. The V&A invited Mardi Gras Indian Big Chief and artist Demond Melancon to exhibit his contemporary African-diasporan art the V&A’s world-renowned Tapestries Gallery from September 14–22, 2019.
Melancon’s complex and multidimensional portrayals often draw inspiration from indigenous people in America, enslaved Africans, and inspirational leaders. The suits feature imagery rich with symbolism and meaning. His intricately hand-beaded objects address stereotypical representations of black people and tell powerful stories from Melancon’s experience of the African diaspora.
The “Black Masking Culture” exhibit at the V&A was made possible by New Orleans‐based artist Ashley Longshore. Melancon is also currently exhibiting his beaded portraits at the Arthur Roger Gallery.