Explore the ‘World Reimagined’ in new Bristol art trail
Press release issued: 12 August 2022
A colourful globe sculpture has been installed at the University of Bristol’s Royal Fort Gardens this week that forms part of a new trail across the city of Bristol, inviting the public to explore the UK’s relationship with the Transatlantic Trade in Enslaved Africans and its impact on society.
The Bristol trail is one of ten held in seven UK cities as part of a project called The World Reimagined. The globes – which have all been individually designed by artists - will be on display to the public until 31 October.
The thought-provoking art installation at the University of Bristol has been created by local artist Emma Blake Morsi and is called Maize & Grace. It responds to the ‘Mother Africa’ theme and tells the courageous untold stories of African environmental heroes and sovereignty guardians.
Emma said: “Inspired by the eclectic aesthetics, textures and history of the continent, I’ve incorporated my ‘Naturtraits’ style, which distinctly illustrates the connection between humans and nature through collaged silhouettes.
“Each section brings to life reimagined parts of our pre-colonial, traditional and colonial history as well as our present-day reality and future potential. It aims to honour those who bravely fought for justice and our rights by reimagining them depicted in the dignity and peace in death that they didn't always receive while alive and celebrate those who are paving the way for a brighter future.”
Professor Judith Squires, Acting Vice-Chancellor at the University of Bristol, added: “The University of Bristol is proud to host one of the globes as part of the World Reimagined Bristol trail. We are particularly delighted to provide a venue for the work of local artist Emma Blake Morsi.
“Emma's globe explores important untold stories of African environmental heroes. We hope that it will inspire visitors to reflect on our history and consider how we might act together for social change.
“Its location in Royal Fort Gardens is particularly pertinent as it is next to the statue of Henrietta Lacks, by another local female artist Helen Wilson-Roe, unveiled last year.”
Aside from Bristol, The World Reimagined has trails in Birmingham, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool City Region, London and Swansea. All are connected by a digital platform that enables visitors to dive into a unique heritage collection that brings this history to life in a meaningful way.
The collection has been created with partners including Professor Kehinde Andrews, the British Library and the International Slavery Museum and was made possible through a grant by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Michelle Gayle, co-founder of The World Reimagined, said: “We know that the greatest force for progress and justice is people coming together in understanding, in conversation and in action. That is what we have seen so far in the artists, activists, schools, community groups, businesses and councils who have made The World Reimagined possible.
“And these thought-provoking, challenging and inspiring works of art that are now transforming the streets of our host cities invite us to understand it is not ‘Black history’ - it’s all of our history. And all of us have a role to play in the work of making racial justice a reality. So we hope you will explore the trails and join the conversation.”
About the artist
Featured by the BBC, Emma Blake Morsi is the Founding Editor-in-Chief of Nocturnal, an interactive magazine using the Arts to creatively address social and cultural issues. The biannual publication is a collection of digital stories as an authentic voice for young Creatives to showcase their obsessions and creatively express themselves through the Arts.
She has been awarded Rife Magazine’s 2015 24 Influential Bristolians Under 24 title as well as nominated for Babbasa’s EMPOWERED 2016 Award for her Nocturnal work. For the second year in the row she covered No Boundaries 2015 as Watershed’s Young Reporter.
She was part of the Creative Talent Lab in Bristol and has since written for Watershed in a freelance capacity. Emma had gone on to take part in the shortlisting of the Playable City 2014 Award as well as a speaker for the Making the City Playable 2014 conference.
About The World Reimagined
The World Reimagined is a ground-breaking, vibrant art education project to transform how we understand the Transatlantic Trade in Enslaved Africans and its impact on all of us so that we can make racial justice a reality, together. Supported by Official Presenting Partner SKY, the project will see a trail of large Globe sculptures across seven cities including: Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool City Region, London, and Swansea.
From 13 August to 31 October 2022, the globes will be displayed across these cities, inspiring and galvanising communities to better understand what it means to be Black and British. Bringing to life the reality and impact of the Transatlantic Trade in Enslaved Africans by remembering the past, whilst still moving forward - celebrating the spirit and culture that has endured so much suffering. The trails are at the centre of learning, community and heritage programmes that invite everyone to take part: www.theworldreimagined.org/