Sculptures by Sokari Douglas Camp CBE to commemorate the abolition of slavery will be exhibited in Saint Paul’s Cathedral from 7th – 31st May 2014. The six steel sculpture figures will be located by the Great West Doors (the site where the Christmas crib goes).
Many of the cathedral’s monuments reflect the colonial period and this work will bring to the floor a part of colonial history that is not memorialised and often overlooked. It celebrates the courage, resilience and hope of those who were forced into slavery.
The sculptures hope to show that the people of slave heritage are brave and have dignity and strength. There are six life-sized steel figures representing successive stages of the slavery story.
The first figure is clad in indigenous robes, then two represent trans-Atlantic slave labour – a plantation worker with a machete and a domestic serving woman. Then three figures representing the post-liberation era – a Sierra Leonean woman in 19 c. Creole dress, a man in a 20 c. Executive suit and finally one relaxing in casual trousers and a T-shirt.
The artist was born in Nigeria, studied in London, has had many solo shows worldwide and her work is included in a number of permanent collections, including the British Museum.