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In recent weeks sculpture has been in the news. Statues dedicated to the white men who made fortunes from trading in black lives reflect the shameful history of the slave trade, and for many symbolise on-going racist attitudes and policies in Britain. Take a look at five sculptures that come from a very different perspective. Whether exploring a shared history of oppression, reflecting on identity, or expressing strength and solidarity: discover sculptures by British artists that tell stories about black lives.

5 artworks
Kingdom of the Blind
© Hew Locke. All rights reserved, DACS 2021. Photo credit: Museums Sheffield

Kingdom of the Blind 2008

Hew Locke (b.1959)

Mixed media

H 239 x W 131 x D 29 cm

Museums Sheffield

Leg Chair (Jane Birkin)
© the artist. Photo credit: Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London

Leg Chair (Jane Birkin) 2011

Anthea Hamilton (b.1978)

Acrylic, brass, photographic reproductions, 7” single cover, nylon stockings & wax

H 81 x W 92 x D 46 cm

Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre

In the House of My Father
© the estate of Donald G. Rodney. Photo credit: Tate

In the House of My Father 1996–1997

Donald G. Rodney (1961–1998)

Photograph, C-print on paper, mounted on aluminium

H 122 x W 153 cm


Nelson's Ship in a Bottle
© Yinka Shonibare CBE. All rights reserved, DACS 2021. Photo credit: Government Art Collection

Nelson's Ship in a Bottle 2009

Yinka Shonibare (b.1962)

Plastic, Dutch wax printed cotton textile, cork, acrylic & glass bottle

H 41.3 x W 66 x D 35.5 cm

Government Art Collection

© the artist. Photo credit: Rochdale Arts & Heritage Service

Raimi 2010

Taslim Martin (b.1962)

Cast iron

Rochdale Arts & Heritage Service