I imagined John Blanke as Shabaka Hutchings. I like serendipitous things. On the same day that I was introduced to the idea - the memory - of John Blanke and asked to consider his portrait, the importance of his presence in history, and my interpretation of it, I also had the pleasure of seeing the extraordinary saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings perform and speak about his idea of belonging - of the space between - as a child of the diaspora, a Londoner, a musician, classically trained and trained by life, by heart, and by geography. I knew that it would be in drawing Shabaka that I'd find my John Blanke. Because when I hear Shabaka play, I can hear that I exist, and when we see that John Blanke existed, we know we can play.
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