Christy Symington at The Queen’s House

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Members of the Anglo-Swedish Society and the Anglo-Finnish Society visited The Queen’s House in Greenwich on 30 October 2023. The Queen’s House was built for Queen Anne, born Princess of Denmark, the wife of King James VI and I. To celebrate Black History Month this year, the visit focused on the sculpture of Olaudah Equiano, the writer, freedman, and abolitionist. Olaudah Equiano was known during most of his life as Gustavus Vassa, named after Gustav Vasa, who was elected King of Sweden (and Finland) 500 years ago.

Sculptor Christy Symington MRSS talked about the sculpture, why and how she made it and the storytelling elements that can be found on it, like the back of the shoulders reflecting the African continent, the direct replication of the Brooks slave ship diagram and a detail of a female figure from the diagram. Members were told about the life of Olaudah Equiano and enjoyed a guided tour of The Queen’s House, Inigo Jones’ architectural masterpiece. There was also an opportunity to view the exhibition ‘The Van de Veldes: Greenwich, Art and the Sea.’ We are grateful to the Anglo-Finnish Society for their help in organising this event.