The statue of slave trader Edward Colston was replaced in Bristol on Wednesday morning with a sculpture of one of the protesters whose anger contributed to bringing Edward Colston statue down.
The figure of Jen Reid was erected standing on the empty plinth after the Colston statue was toppled during the march. Artist Marc Quinn who made the statue stated that the sculpture did not have formal consent.
He said the black resin statue – called A Surge of Power – was a “temporary public installation”. Mr. Quinn said he was inspired to create it after seeing an image of Ms. Reid standing on the plinth with her fist raised during ‘Black Lives Matter’ Protest. He then contacted Ms. Reid through social media and they worked together on the statue, which was erected shortly before 05:00 BST.
Ms. Reid said that the sculpture was important because it helped “keep the journey towards racial justice and equity moving”. “On my way home from the protests on 7 June, I felt an overwhelming impulse to climb on to the plinth,” she said in a statement on Mr. Quinn’s website.
“When I was stood there on the plinth, and raised my arm in a Black Power salute, it was spontaneous, I didn’t even think about it. It was like an electrical charge of power was running through me. “This sculpture is about making a stand for my mother, for my daughter, for black people like me.”
Arriving in two lorries before 5 am, a team of 10 people worked quickly to install the figure of Reid, who said she had been secretly working with Quinn on the idea for weeks. It came as a complete surprise to the authorities, who are yet to announce their plans for the location.
A cardboard placard reading “black lives still matter” was placed at the bottom of the plinth. Shortly after the vehicles drove away, Reid stood in front of the statue with her fist in the air. “It’s just incredible,” she said. “That’s pretty fucking ballsy, that it is.”