A national art education project that aims to transform understanding of the transatlantic slave trade has launched in Leicester.
The World Reimagined has brought a trail of 10 stunning globe sculptures to the city’s streets, each designed by a new or globally-recognised artist.
With themes such as ‘Mother Africa’ and ‘The Reality of Being Enslaved’, the fibreglass globes have been installed at locations including Leicester train station, the Clock Tower, the Highfields Centre and Victoria Park, where they’ll help to highlight the reality and impact of the transatlantic slave trade in enslaved Africans.
Deputy city mayor Cllr Piara Singh Clair said: “These impressive globe sculptures not only provoke debate and help improve our understanding of the impact of the slave trade, but they also bring a spectacular splash of colour and new interest to the streets of Leicester this summer.”
Assistant city mayor Cllr Sue Hunter, who leads on work to tackle racism and disadvantage, said: “This national project will help improve our understanding of a dark period of history that is perhaps not talked about enough – and by learning about the mistakes of the past, we can ensure they aren’t repeated in the future.
“Today, Leicester’s diversity is its strength and I hope that this stunning trail of artworks will inspire us to come together and imagine a future where everyone is treated with dignity – and where equality, diversity and racial justice are universally cherished.”
One of the artists taking part in the project is Leicester-based Jarvis Brookfield.
Jarvis – who had never painted on a 3-dimensional canvas before – relished the opportunity to work on a spherical shape.
“The sphere has so many connotations – evoking the earth, unity, love and life – that I loved the challenge of working with a globe for the first time,” he said.
“But as someone who is bi-racial, this project gave me an opportunity to be part of a collective effort to turn the atrocities inflicted by our extended family on our ancestors into something beautiful.
“Despite the tremendous difficulties experienced by our ancestors throughout history, the human spirit continues to persevere and to rise above adversity – and that’s what I wanted to communicate through my design.
“I hope my work will offer people an opportunity to reflect on the things that unite us, as opposed to what divides us, and I hope that all 10 globes will serve as a source of inspiration and learning for all the people who will be interacting with these works on the streets of Leicester.”
More information about The World Reimagined, which will be on display until October 31, is available at www.theworldreimagined.org