The statue of Black Lives Matter protester, Jen Reid, which in an act of guerrilla activism by artist Mark Quinn and Black Lives Matter protesters, was placed on the plinth recently vacated by slaver Edward Colston, has been removed.
The sculpture was taken away on the back of a lorry at around 5.30 this morning by Bristol Council. The black resin and steel sculpture was inspired by Black Lives Matter protester Jen Reid, who climbed the plinth after the statue of Colston was thrown into the harbour during last month’s protests sparked by the murder of George Floyd by US police.
Reid says, “My immediate thoughts were for the enslaved people who died at the hands of Colston and to give them power. I wanted to give George Floyd power, I wanted to give power to Black people like me who have suffered injustices and inequality. A surge of power out to them all.”⠀
The artist, Marc Quinn, says, “Jen created the sculpture when she stood on the plinth and raised her arm in the air. Now we’re crystallising it.” ⠀
The sculpture of Reid has been met with both support and condemnation by the community. Artist David Lamby has spoken out in opposition to Quinn, a white successful British male artist, erecting the statue rather than funding black artists. Lamby suggests that this was an act of racism rather than an ally attempting to continue the conversation.