marc quinn tops colston's empty plinth in bristol with sculpture of BLM protester jen reid
 

marc quinn tops colston's empty plinth in bristol with sculpture of BLM protester jen reid

UPDATE 07/18: bristol city council has since removed the sculpture of jen reid, saying it had been put up without permission. it will be held at the bristol museum & art gallery for marc quinn to collect, or donate to the collection. mayor marvin rees issued a statement about the need for a democratic process where the people of bristol decide the future of the plinth.

 

marc quinn has installed a sculpture of black lives matter protester jen reid on top of the empty plinth where slave trader edward colston’s statue used to stand in bristol. titled ‘a surge of power (jen reid) 2020’, the temporary, public installation is based on an image of reid the british artist saw on instagram following a BLM protest in june 2020. reid, a local resident who has worked together with quinn on the project, was standing on the vacant plinth with her fist raised in a black power salut, after the statue of colston was toppled from this spot.

marc quinn tops colston's empty plinth in bristol with sculpture of BLM protester jen reidimage courtesy of marc quinn

 

 

marc quinn‘s sculpture of jen reid was secretly placed on top of edward colston’s empty plinth overnight without formal consent from bristol’s authorities. cast in black resin, ‘a surge of power (jen reid) 2020’ captures a spontaneous moment following a black lives matter protest in june, where reid stood on the vacant plinth with her fist raised. 

 

‘on my way home from the protests on 7 june, I felt an overwhelming impulse to climb onto the plinth, just completely driven to do it by the events which had taken place right before,’ says reid, who has collaborated with the british artist on the project. ‘seeing the statue of edward colston being thrown into the river felt like a truly historical moment; huge. when I was stood there on the plinth, and raised my arm in a black power salute, it was totally spontaneous, I didn’t even think about it. it was like an electrical charge of power was running through me. my immediate thoughts were for the enslaved people who died at the hands of colston and to give them power. I wanted to give george floyd power, I wanted to give power to black people like me who have suffered injustices and inequality. a surge of power out to them all.’

marc quinn tops colston's empty plinth in bristol with sculpture of BLM protester jen reidimage via instagram user @dre_65

 

 

the sculpture has been placed on the plinth temporarily and ‘not as a permanent solution to what should be there,’ as quinn notes. instead, it seeks to bring continued attention to the unacceptable problem of institutionalised and systemic racism that everyone has a duty to face up to. ‘a surge of power (jen reid) 2020’ is not-for-profit, and, if sold, all profit will be donated to cargo classroom and the black curriculum, two charities chosen by jen reid.

marc quinn tops colston's empty plinth in bristol with sculpture of BLM protester jen reidimage courtesy of hassan akkad

marc quinn tops colston's empty plinth in bristol with sculpture of BLM protester jen reidimage courtesy of hassan akkad

 

 

‘keeping the issue of black people’s lives and experiences in the public eye and doing whatever I can to help is so important,’ says quinn. those of us who have privilege have a duty to be part of change. something that desmond tutu said resonates with me strongly: “if you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” I think this sums up how we’ve reached the point where white people have to be allies and white people in positions of power need to speak up and actively combat racism. for me this has meant taking time to educate myself, listen to others and find a meaningful way of contributing. the reasons why jen wanted to do this together are so important, this sculpture is an embodiment and amplification of jen’s ideas and experiences, and of the past, present and her hope for a better future.’

  • They erased the past.

    “Anyone who does not look at their past will not arrive in the place where they should go in the future.” – Ancient Asian proverb.

    Tung Cab

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

comments policy

PRODUCT LIBRARY

a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

art news

×
keep up with our daily and weekly stories
508,027 subscribers
- see sample
- see sample
designboom magazine