How do you show that the people of slave heritage are brave and have dignity and strength? How do you show the social and economic legacy that has benefited the world from their suffering? My piece is marked by mutually complementary vertical and horizontal components. The vertical component consists of a line of life- sized figures representing successive stages of the slavery saga. Thus the line starts with a figure clad in indigenous robes. Then come two figures representing trans-Atlantic slave labour: a plantation worker with a machete and a domestic serving woman. These are followed by three figures representing the post- liberation era: a Sierra Leonean woman in nineteenth –century Creole dress, a man in a twentieth century executive suit and finally another relaxing in casual trousers and a tee-shirt. The horizontal component consists of a series of sculpted “shadows” thrown out to the right from the successive figures. Each “shadow” is a strip containing a phrase referring to the stage in the saga represented by its corresponding figure. “From our rich ancestral life” “We were sold, bought and used” “But we were brave” “We were strong” “We survived” “All the world is now richer” The piece is arranged, on the one hand so that the viewers can walk around its perimeter and grasp the saga as a whole ,on the other so that in threading their way back and forth between the figures- and “ shadows” , they can take in its stages more slowly ,closely and reflectively. Materials Materials and fixings have been chosen for their long life robustness and high quality. The figures will be cast in bronze. The words will be cast in cast-iron and fixed to the Portland stone paving. The piece will be discreetly lit and set into a landscape garden.
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