The statue of slave owner Edward Colston in Bristol torn down last month by #BlackLivesMatter protestors has been replaced with a resin cast of one of the protestors, Jen Reid, made by British artist, Marc Quinn.
Artlyst reports that the 'life-sized sculpture is based on an image [Quinn] saw on Instagram of ... Reid standing on the vacant plinth with her fist raised in a Black Power salute, a spontaneous moment following a Black Lives Matter protest in June 2020.'
As reported in the Guardian, 'arriving in two lorries before 05:00, a team of 10 people worked quickly to install the figure of Reid, who said she had been secretly working with Quinn on the idea for weeks. It came as a complete surprise to the authorities, who are yet to announce their plans for the location.'
One of the most compelling moments from last month's protests in the UK, the toppling of the Colston statue was a symbolic act that pushes the UK facing up to its dark legacy of profiting from the slave trade. Edward Colston, who died in 1721, had been a wealthy man and Tory MP, who donated vast sums of money made through trading slaves to the city of Bristol, leading to him being celebrated as a philanthropist, despite the source of his wealth.
The work, called A Surge of Power (Jen Reid) has not been made for profit, but if sold, proceeds will go to two charities chosen by Reid - Cargo Classroom, a Black history syllabus created for Bristol teenagers, and The Black Curriculum, a social enterprise founded in 2019 by young people to address the lack of Black British history in the UK curriculum.