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Statue of Black Lives Matter protestor lasts just 24 hours in Bristol

The statue of Jen Reid has already been removed. (Image credit: RTE)

Debate has raged over what should replace the statue of slave trader Edward Colston after it was pulled from its plinth in Bristol by Black Lives Matter protestors last month. Yesterday it was secretly replaced by a 3D-printed statue of a protestor – but only for 24 hours.

Artist Marc Quinn installed his own statue of protestor Jen Reid without the knowledge of city officials in the early hours of yesterday morning. Quinn's statue was 3D-printed, then cast in resin (check out our best 3D modelling software if you're inspired to create something of your own). 

Jen Reid Statue

Jen Reid in front of the statue (Image credit: AP)

Reid had been photographed standing on the empty plinth after Colston's statue was pulled down, posing defiantly with her first raised. Inspired by the photo (and with "a lot of organising"), Quinn invited Reid to his studio, where the same defiant pose was captured by over 200 cameras. 

“When I saw the picture of Jen on Instagram, I immediately thought it would be great to immortalise that moment," Quinn told the Guardian. "The image is a silhouette: she looked like a sculpture already. I’ve been making portraits of refugees using 3D scanning over the last year and applied the same technology to this.” Quinn called his work 'A Surge of Power (Jen Reid) 2020'. 

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But less than 24 hours after it was erected, Quinn's statue has already been removed. "This morning we removed the sculpture," Bristol City Council said in a statement today. "It will be held at our museum for the artist to collect or donate to our collection." Mayor of Bristol Marvin Rees also tweeted (above) that what replaces Colston's statue "must be decided by the people of Bristol" (Quinn is based in London). 

Banksy sketch

Banksy's proposal for Bristol's empty plinth (Image credit: Banksy)

Marc Quinn isn't the only artist to have had their say on what should sit atop the plinth (although he's certainly the first to turn that vision into a reality). Mysterious street artist Banksy recently shared his own concept (above), suggesting reinstating Colston's statue with the addition of protestors pulling him down – to keep "everyone happy".

The creative community has come together in solidarity with Black Lives Matter in the fight against racism. Take a look at these examples of creative projects supporting the movement, as well as information on how you can help.

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Daniel Piper

Daniel Piper is senior news editor at Creative Bloq, and an authority on all things art, design, branding and tech. He has a particular penchant for Apple products – some corners of the internet might call him an 'iSheep', but he's fine with this. It doesn't bother him at all. Why would it? They're just really nicely designed products, okay? Daniel is also a comedian and national poetry slam champion, and his favourite Bond is, obviously, Sean Connery.