Tudor trumpeters, men of letters and a nursing pioneer: Influential Black Londoners exhibition opens

Today is the opening day of the exhibition I’ve worked on with the National Trust at Sutton House, Hackney. Each of the historic rooms features a letter written by historian Miranda Kaufmann to one of nine Influential Black Londoners – and she has done a superb job of bringing them to life in a most engaging way. She has written about the experience on her blog here. I’ve designed and illustrated a set of commemorative stamps, and have created giant envelopes to display them. Visitors will also be able to collect small stickers of each of the stamps as they go round the house taking part in activities related to each of the characters. Many thanks to Daisy and Sean for helping make the envelopes and mount the exhibition.

It’s been a great project to be involved in – Sutton House is a very atmospheric and interesting building and it’s a privilege to work there, but most of all it has been fascinating to learn more about the nine Influential Black Londoners and their lives – and how what they achieved and experienced has affected the course of history. In particular I have been reading extracts from Olaudah Equiano’s autobiography, which very vividly depicts his gruelling experiences on a slave ship as a young boy.

The next step in the project is the series of workshops with local schools. I’m really looking forward to starting these next week, and helping KS2 children produce some exciting new work, both 2D and 3D, to add to the exhibition. Do get along to see it if you can!

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