10 June 2021

Artist talk: Heather Agyepong – Too Many Blackamoors

In this talk, Heather Agyepong talks about the works she has installed among the 18th Century paintings in our Enlightenment Gallery,

Ageypong’s art practice deals with wellbeing, particularly the experience of invisibility for diaspora communities. She often re-imagines archival material using herself to embody a historical character. The process of making the art usually aims to achieve a catharsis for herself and the viewers.

This period of history saw the expansion of horizons through travel and science, underpinned by the expansion of the British Empire and colonial rule. Agyepong’s series of work, ‘Too Many Blackamoors’ is inspired by the story of Lady Sarah Forbes Bonetta. She was an orphaned child from Dahomy (a pre-colonial African kingdom located within present-day Benin) who was adopted by a British captain and later by Queen Victoria.

Agyepong has selected a series of pastels by the Sharples family of artists, who worked in Bristol during the 18th and 19th centuries, to show alongside ‘Too many Blackamoors’. In showing her selection, Agyepong asks questions about who is remembered in our history and who  – often marginalised people – are forgotten.

Heather Ageypong is an artist and actor based in London. This talk is part of Bristol Photo Festival.

Find out more about Heather Ageypong’s intervention in our art gallery.

How to take part

This free, online talk will be held over Zoom. Please book your place below. Details of how to join the session will be in your registration email. Please check your spam folder if the email does not arrive. Bookings close at 2pm on Thursday 10 June.

Although this talk is free, we would be grateful if you could consider making a donation.

Please visit the Zoom website for guidance on joining meetings. Please allow extra time before the talk begins to make sure everything is working correctly. It’s up to you whether you turn on your video but all guests will be muted once the talk begins. You are welcome to ask questions in the chat box throughout the talk.

Credit: Too Many Blackamoors (#7), 2015, Heather Agyepong. (Commissioned by Autograph ABP)