‘Hope flows through her’: artist Marc Quinn on replacing Colston with a Black Lives Matter statue

‘Hope flows through her’: artist Marc Quinn on replacing Colston with a Black Lives Matter statue

July 15, 2020

Today the sculptor placed a statue of a woman doing a black power salute on the vacant plinth in Bristol. We tell the full story of its creation – and speak to Jen Reid, the protester whose gesture so inspired him

  • ‘Amazing moment’: new statue appears at dawn

There’s a lookout stationed at the end of Colston Street and a load of people, some dressed in hi-vis vests, are gathering at a nearby restaurant. Then, in the dawn light, a statue concealed in plastic wrapping can be seen approaching on a hiab truck. It turns the corner and reverses towards the plinth where the statue of Edward Colston once stood. There’s a sense of mischief in the air on this bright clear morning in Bristol – and revolution.

The team spring into action and, minutes later, a new statue has been placed on the spot where Colston’s stood and swiftly unwrapped. It’s of a young black woman, her fist raised in a black power salute. “There’s a new woman in power!” a cyclist shouts as he turns the bend. On Twitter, responses start coming in fast. Dr Lola Solebo writes: “Am waking my girls up early so I can show them this. What a thing of beauty. What a thing to wake up to.”

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