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City and gallery team up on Black Lives Matter murals

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The first installation for the Peaceful Art Protests Mural Project, painted by Dennis Joaquin on Front Street (Photograph from City of Hamilton facebook)

Art pieces to commemorate a historic protest held in solidarity with the global Black Lives Matter Movement will be installed across Hamilton.

The City of Hamilton and the Bermuda National Gallery have thrown their weight behind the Peaceful Art Protest Mural Project and will install two murals in the city to honour the thousands-strong human rights march held in June.

Jessica Astwood, the director of marketing and communications for Hamilton, said: “These murals are an incredible addition to the more than 20 pieces of public art that brighten areas around the City.

“We are humbled to have these artworks as part of the VIVID Public art Initiative – they commemorate a time when we, as a nation, marched together for justice and change.”

A painting by Dennis Joaquin, adapted from a photograph by Meredith Andrews, is being installed near Number 1 Car Park on Front Street where the protest started and finished its route.

A second mural created by primary schoolchildren will be installed on Queen Street near City Hall.

Mr Joaquin said that he was commissioned to paint the mural, which features a mask-clad protester with a raised fist, and hoped to complete it by the end of the week.

He added: "Because it’s one person standing alone it kind of shows self-empowerment.

“It sort of looks like the Statue of Liberty and there’s a lot of ideas about freedom and liberation behind it.“

The project was created by Rachel Swinburne, a former Bermuda Biennial artist who called for artwork by artists in support of the Black Lives Matters movement in the lead-up to the June 7 march organised by Social Justice Bermuda.

Around 7,000 people marched through Hamilton in one of the largest gatherings of people in Bermuda in recent years.

It was one of countless Black Lives Matter demonstrations sparked around the world in response to the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, at the hands of police officers in Minneapolis.

Peter Lapsley, the director of the Bermuda National Gallery, said: “When we read about The Peaceful Art Protest we were struck by not only the importance of the project but the direct and immediate response the community had in utilising art as a way of supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.

“We felt it was crucially important to lend our support in some way to give this project broader reach and would like to thank artist Rachel Swinburne as well as the City of Hamilton Vivid Public Art Initiative and team for making the murals possible.”

Dennis Joaquin paints the first installation of the Peaceful Art Protests Mural Project on Front Street (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
Dennis Joaquin paints the first installation of the Peaceful Art Protests Mural Project on Front Street (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

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Published December 17, 2020 at 7:58 am (Updated December 16, 2020 at 6:51 pm)

City and gallery team up on Black Lives Matter murals

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