Put on a Pedestal - Paper collage & MDF

  • Beth Suzanna

I exhibited as part of Shado Magazine's community exhibition 'Re-Imagine'. October being black history month, my piece centred around 'Re-Imagining' the colonial statues and plinths across the UK. "The toppling of Bristol's Colston statue sparked a wider discussion about what parts of Britain’s history we chose to celebrate. Seeing the Colston statue fall in 2020 at the Black Lives Matter march, it made me wonder, who are these statues even for? What is their purpose? Why do we raise individual colonial figures up on plinths and what effect does this have on the communities who view them everyday? This isn’t exclusive to Bristol. A 2021 study found that 'London has more statues of animals than of named women, with an audit finding just 1% of our sculptures are dedicated to named people of colour.' Exploring how we can and should re-imagine these plinths. I found that statues say less about these individuals but more about what we value as a wider society. In this piece I explore who do we put on a pedestal? By re-imagining these plinths, my piece is a hopeful nod towards a new generation. Re-building representation by re-imagining these archaic structures into something that is reflective of the society that we are in." Thanks so much everyone at Shado Mag, for curating and organising such a powerful exhibition!!