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Monument to a Protest




1200mm x 1500mm. Mixed media on canvas.

Edward Colston Statue: The statue of the 17th century slave merchant was pulled down on 7 June 2020 following a Black Lives Matter march, before being rolled into Bristol harbour.
I was there to support the march; the site is located close to my home in central Bristol.

I’m an advocate of ‘Art as witness’ but creating a piece showing the toppling of Colston seemed unnecessary, the act was well documented on the day.

Hours later I walked back up through College Green and took some shots of the aftermath, the detritus, the residue of the day. It was quiet and the trampled leaflets and posters, and footprints in the muddy grass, all seemed poignant somehow.
A few days later I walked down to look again at the site. The statue plinth now empty, just a lump of metal and stone, a banal thing. This for me, seemed a subject to make a painting of. I took some shots and made the series ‘Monument to a Protest’ over the weeks of July and August that year.



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