Like most people, I was strongly affected by the shocking murder of George Floyd, and I became involved in the protests of Black Lives Matter that followed. After protesters in Liverpool toppled the statue of Colston, a slave owner, into the harbour in June 2020, I began an artwork series, Statues 2020. A photomontage called Colston Overboard depicts Colston’s descent downwards into a dark otherworldly place – outcast from public life and our cultural landscape.
After the statue of Milligan, also a slave owner, was removed from its plinth in east London and carted off into storage in July 2020, I created a second artwork The Disposal of Milligan.
The photomontage images of the two deposed statues Colston Overboard and The Disposal of Milligan can be read as a pair.
For me, this art project is about memorialising the positive vacancy created by these statues’ removal – both in actual space on the empty plinth and in our cultural imagination.