Fight of activists commemorated

Black women’s movement in the spotlight
Emotive: one of the bronze casts

A poignant collection of bronze casts of Black Women’s Movement activists’ fists has gone on display at Guildhall Art Gallery to commemorate the group’s campaigning work in London during the 1970s and 1980s.

A Fighters’ Archive by sculptor Wijnand De Jonge opened on Tuesday to pay tribute to 15 leading figures from a multitude of activists’ groups.

The work takes the form of a boxing archive (casts of boxers’ fists collected to commemorate prize fighters) in a display case full of moulds of the clenched fists of the influential individuals.  The fists, which Wijnand De Jonge cast from life, are painted according to the skin tone of each woman and labelled with name plaques.

Katty Pearce, the Corporation’s art gallery curator, described the opportunity to host the creation as a privilege.

“This remarkable display, small in size, but conveying a powerful and strident message, pays tribute to these inspirational women who challenged prejudice and stood up for their beliefs,” she said.

“Guildhall Art Gallery takes great pride in showcasing the Capital’s history through art, and it is our privilege to give space and a voice to A Fighters’ Archive within the gallery’s historic London collection.”

The casts will be on display until 19 March and admission is free.