Thursday, 26 June 2014

Fen Court EC3

This remarkable piece of 2007, Gilt of Cain, is a collaboration between the sculptor Michael Visocchi and the poet Lemn Sissay to mark the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the Atlantic slave trade.
The granite columns are shaped to resemble sugar cane, the product most slaves were taken from Africa to the Caribbean to grow and process into sugar. Before them is a podium with a short flight of steps.
This arrangement has a dual purpose. In one sense, they can be viewed as a pulpit and a congregation of abolitionists, recalling the role of the church in the abolitionist cause. A deliberate reference is to the Rev. John Newton, author of Amazing Grace and inspirer of William Wilberforce, who was rector of nearby St Mary Woolnoth.
In contrast, the group can be seen as a crowd of slaves in front of the auctioneer's desk.

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