Royal Cambrian Academy
Thursday, January 13, 2022
Saturday, February 26, 2022
Crown Lane, Conwy, N Wales UK, LL32 8AN
Royal Cambrian Academy of Art

Delighted my sculpture ‘OLAUDAH EQUIANO – African, slave, author, abilitionist’ bronze has been selected for the Royal Cambrian Academy Annual Open Exhibition 2022. The exhibition opened on 8 January 2022 and it has been ‘Highly Commended‘. *

Image – sculpture detail: The Brooks slave ship diagram on the rear of the sculpture, was widely used by abolitionists showing the horrendous conditions on the Transatlantic slave ships.

The diagram was included by finding an innovative combination of techniques according to Bronze Age foundry where the sculpture was cast. It brings together a printmaking process into the bronze casting process at the wax stage, to replicate and implement the well-known Brooks slaves ship diagram as narrative. The light patina was chosen to give a contemporary finish to the bronze.

Other details include sculpted, broken and absent shackles and chains, the back of the shoulders are shape of the African continent of Equiano’s origins. The light patina was chosen to give a contemporary finish to the sculpture.

Equiano was first brought to my attention by the widely used painting of him on the cover of his book and inspired me to make the sculpture. Research for my sculpture into three-dimension included the times of the Transatlantic slave trade and reading Equiano’s self-published book** of his experience of life in Africa, his enslavement and his journey to freedom. Visually, having then seen the frontispiece portrait engraving of Equiano in his book, it was naturally combined in the feel of the overall sculpture.

The Royal Cambrian Academy of Art invites submissions for its 2022 Annual Open Exhibition. Dedicated to encouraging and portraying diversity within art, both 2D and 3D work in any medium exhibited in our beautiful gallery in Conwy, 8th January – 26th February, as well as online viewing and sales through our website.

We have again the Selector’s Prize of £1000, awarded by the Academy and Friends of the Royal Cambrian Academy of Art. Our exciting People’s Choice Prize at £100 and this year we are offering a discipline prize, the Lawrenson Sculpture Award £500. Renowned sculptor Diane Lawrenson RCA is offering the prize to support her chosen art form.

This is the second year of selected works for the exhibition online. There were twice the usual entries – over 600. The panel made their considered and impartial selection of just over 200 pieces.

* Bronze Limited Edition of 9. On display and for sale at Royal Cambrian Academy is 5/9. The sculpture is in the permanent collections of Parliament UK (detail image), Royal Museums Greenwich on display in the Queen’s House and International Slavery Museum in Liverpool.

** ‘The Interesting Narrative of Olaudah Equiano, Or Gustavus Vassa, The African’ Written By Himself. First published 1789 in London. Nine editions were sold in his lifetime. His account of enslavement and freedom captivated and shocked British audiences, changing opinions to rally against ending the slave trade.