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Black Lives Matter artwork unveiled at Eden Court Theatre in Inverness


By Val Sweeney

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Artist Jacqueline Briggs with her specially-commissioned artwork. Picture: Gary Anthony
Artist Jacqueline Briggs with her specially-commissioned artwork. Picture: Gary Anthony

A specially-commissioned artwork has been unveiled at Eden Court in Inverness as part of a Scotland-wide Black Lives Matter mural trail.

City artist Jacqueline Briggs, who is half Scottish and half Papua New Guinean, was commissioned to create the work.

It sits alongside posters and banners carrying powerful messages of solidarity and reflection which were previously placed on the city's Ness Bridge by members of the public following the death in May of African-American George Floyd while in police custody in the United States.

Ms Briggs is based at Wasps Studios and also works at Eden Court,

"A celebration of the diversity of people who live in the Highlands, it is really exciting and poignant to have local banners of support for the movement fully incorporated within the artwork," she said.

"Displayed together, I hope to encapsulate the importance of unity and compassion as we strive for equality."

Lucy McGlennon, Eden Court's head of engagement, said: "As a publicly-funded organisation, we take our civic responsibility seriously.

"We want everyone to feel like they have a place at Eden Court and we proudly curate a diverse artistic programme that creates space for artists and amplifies marginalised voices within our community.

"In our response to the global Black Lives Matter campaign, we felt two things were vital.

"Firstly, that we proudly state that Eden Court denounces racism and, secondly, that we made space for an artistic response."

She said the commissioned artwork interprets the pieces created within the local community.

"Working alongside Jacqueline as she has created this mural has been a genuine pleasure," she said.

"It’s felt exciting, it’s felt powerful and most importantly, it feels right.

"I’m delighted there is space in our city to amplify the Black Lives Matter campaign."

Nikita Archibald visits the exhibition.
Nikita Archibald visits the exhibition.

The Black Lives Matter – Scottish Mural trail is supported by venues and arts organisations including Eden Court as well as Edinburgh International Festival, Dance Base, Queen’s Hall Edinburgh, Glasgow’s King’s Theatre and Theatre Royal, and others.

It is the brainchild of Edinburgh creative producer Wezi Mhura who said: "The Scottish Government says it recognises the strength in its aspirations to a more equal and more diverse society going forward, and we hope this mural trail will help to start the conversations that need to be happening now.

"It’s been amazing to connect in with so many talented artists (with roots in so many different places) who have been so enthusiastic about getting behind this project."

Final preparations ahead of the exhibition opening.
Final preparations ahead of the exhibition opening.

Although Eden Court remains closed, the exhibition can be viewed through the restaurant windows until July 31.

When the building re-opens, it will be on display again before the posters and banners move to the Highland Archive Centre.

Related story Eden Court Black Lives Matter artwork on Scottish mural trail


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