Part 1 installation view at Furtherfield Gallery, London. Image: Pau Ross 2019

Part 1 installation view at Furtherfield Gallery, London. Image: Pau Ross 2019



An exhibition installation captured in 3D and broadcast as a holographic image


“This is an important and timely work that makes a brilliant contribution to the exhibition, and to wider cultural and political debates.” Ruth Catlow, Co-Founder and Co-Director, Furtherfield, London


Circle of Blackness is an art installation commissioned by Furtherfield Gallery for Time Portals - a group exhibition responding to the 150 year anniversary of Finsbury Park by travelling through its past and future. The exhibition is inspired by the work of Octavia E Butler. Butler had a vision of time as circular, giving meaning to acts of courage and persistence. In the face of social and environmental injustice, setbacks are guaranteed, no gains are made or held without struggle, but societal woes will pass and our time will come again. In this sense, history offers solace, inspiration, and perhaps even a prediction of what to prepare for.


Through local research conducted by Black British History specialist S. I. Martin, the piece embodies the historical story of Anne E. Styles (1821-1903). Styles, who was born a slave under the British flag in Jamaica subsequently spent the rest of her life from the age of 17 living in a number of addresses in north London working for the same family as a domestic servant until her death. 


Inspired by Afrofuturism, the piece will travel forward 150 years to the year 2169 by reimagining Styles’ life as an existence of strength, empowerment and liberation, rather than what we suspect most likely to have contained elements of grief, isolation and entrapment. Working with a small team of Mixed Reality experience specialists from PlayLabZ, Holotronica and with futurist fashion stylist Monzie, the piece is captured and recorded as a holographic image.


Circle of Blackness is made in two parts. Part one opened in May 2019 with a short introduction to Styles. Part two will time-travel between 1869, when Finsbury Park opened, the present and 2169. 


Time Portals exhibition film excerpt: Furtherfield 2019

Click here to watch the full exhibition film

Images: Pau Ross 2019

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