Culture Pick 08.04.21

Published on: 
8 April 2021

Art historian, John Francis, our guest editor gives his last Top Culture Pick.

Finally we must head to Mecca: Tate Britain and Tate Modern.

For centuries this institution has provided the sweet taste of Art. Founder, Henry Tate made his fortune from sugar. British firms dominated the industry in the British colonies and heavily contributed to the progressive under-development and impoverishment of the Caribbean. Henry Tate was not a slave-owner or slave-trader. However, the Tate’s collections include items given by or associated with individuals who were slave-owners or whose wealth came from slavery.

In one of the most important shows in Tate Modern's Turbine Hall in recent years, ‘Fons Americanus’ 2019 by Karen Walker questions our attitudes to monuments, colonialism, race and identity.

Kara Elizabeth Walker (born 1969) is an American artist best known for her room-size tableaux of black cut-paper silhouettes. 

Discover Kara Walker's unique contribution to contemporary art and politics

EXPLORE 'Fons Americanus' in-depth (6 mins).

Tate Modern is my go-to museum for research and inspiration. Scroll down after viewing the video to a wealth of connected resources. There are some interesting references to Walker’s work including paintings by JMW Turner and JS Copley. Further links explore Black Power musicians such as Linton Kwesi Johnson and Stevie Wonder.

Sadly, this is the last Culture Pick for a while; I hope you have enjoyed the journey.