All The World Is Now Richer at Greenbelt

Good morning from Greenbelt again! On day two and with a decent night’s sleep under my (Green) belt, the dust has settled somewhat and I am now able to look at the art that we have spent 4 days hanging with a more detached eye.

Each artist’s work is genuinely great this year, but one of the highlights has to be Sokari Douglas Camp CBE‘s set of sculptures entitled “All The World Is Now Richer”.

The work consists of a series of six figures made from steel, a little bigger, taller and prouder than life-size.

From Sokari’s website:

” ‘All the World is now Richer’ is a sculpture to commemorate the abolition of slavery. The sculpture hopes to show that the people of slave heritage are brave and have dignity and strength.”

The series shows the journey from indigenous robed figure, rich in ancestral heritage, to contemporary person in jeans and t-shirt via plantation workers and everything in between. However, as troubled and complex as all those issues are, the work is also about strength and survival, even dignity.

Politically engaged on a social and racial level, Douglas-Camp is Nigerian, trained in Britain from a political, high-born family. Drawing on a culture that utilises masks, masquerades, dance, and uniform, her work shares a part of Nigeria, that has to deal with oil companies, and live with the memory of Ken Saro-Wiwa. The work comes from responses to a series of poetic words which can been seen on a maquette, also included in the show.

Most importantly, I’ve been getting a lot of great feedback from various people who have been through or past. I’ve already met many people who have walked past and drawn into the room.They have told me that it looks AMAZING and want to go back and spend some more time there. Bringing an art show to a Racecourse, and especially making it look good within a festival is not easy. However I think we’ve achieved it, particularly in this case.

Fine Art venues (especially when the weather is good) don’t always get a big crowd, but conversely that can be their greatest strength. The room becomes a provoking oasis of calm when you want to escape the festival crowds.

I may well see you there.

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