Sculpture of BLM protestor Jen Reid removed from Colston plinth


By Teddy Coward, Co-Editor-in-Chief

The sculpture has now been taken to a museum for the artist Marc Quinn to collect.

The sculpture of Black Lives Matter demonstrator Jen Reid, which had replaced the statue of slave trader Edward Colston, has been removed.

Bristol City Council tweeted to say the sculpture had been removed in the early hours of this morning and will be held in a museum for the artist who built it, Marc Quinn, to either collect or donate to the Council’s collection.

Council contractors arrived to the sculpture earlier this morning and had taken it away in a lorry at approximately 5:30am.

Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees had tweeted yesterday to say: ‘I understand people want expression, but the statue has been put up without permission’.

‘Anything put on the plinth outside of the process we've put in place will have to be removed.’

In a statement, Mayor Rees had also said that ‘the future of the plinth and what is installed on it must be decided by the people of Bristol’.

Entitled A Surge To Power, the black resin statue was designed by Quinn after he was inspired by seeing an image of Reid standing on the plinth during the Black Lives Matter demonstrations on 7 June.

Mr Quinn then reached out to Ms Reid through Instagram and the pair worked together on the sculpture, which was then erected at around 4:30am yesterday morning, Wednesday 15 July.

Statue of Black Lives Matter protester erected on Colston plinth

In a joint statement released after the sculpture was erected, Jen Reid said she had decided to collaborate with the artist ‘as he cares about pushing inclusion to the forefront of people’s minds and uses his art to make people think.

Reid added: ‘Creating this sculpture is so important as it helps keep the journey towards racial justice and equity moving, because Black lives matter every day’.

The artist has specified that if sold, all profits from the sculpture will be donated to two charities chosen by Ms Reid.

These include Cargo Classroom, a Black history syllabus created for Bristol teenagers, and The Black Curriculum, which was founded in 2019 by young people to address the lack of Black British history being taught in the UK curriculum.

Featured: Martin Booth

Do you think the Jen Reid sculpture should have stayed on the plinth or been taken down?