'To Do Justly, To Love Mercy'

The Interesting Visual Narrative Life Of Olaudah Equiano


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'To Do Justly, To Love Mercy' at

Outdoor public art exhibition organised by the Morley Sculpture Society in the secluded and contemplative Circular Green behind the Nancy Seear Building.

This exhibition acknowledges the victims of the slave trade, the ordinary people who campaigned for change, and the abolitionists themselves, particularly those black abolitionists such as Olaudah Equiano, who deserve a prominent place in history.

n extraordinary life is celebrated on the 8 trees in the Circular Green - visual representations of chapters of his famous autobiography, written in 1789, by Olaudah Equiano (c.1745-1797) himself. Entitled The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa the African (1789), a strongly abolitionist autobiography, the book became a bestseller, furthering the anti-slavery cause.

Each of the 8 trees, dressed by 8 artists, tells another chapter of his remarkable story from being sold into slavery in childhood, to being a slave to a Royal Navy captain and later a Quaker merchant, to eventually buying his own freedom through careful trading and saving. He travelled the world, including the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, the Atlantic and the Arctic, before settling in London, involving himself in the movement to abolish the Slave Trade.

Following 3 stages of Olaudah Equiano's life from 1745-1757 into slavery, as a slave from 1757-1766, and as a free man and abolitionist from1766-1797. This exhibition is a visual social history accessible to all ages, with readings of Olaudah Equiano's poems from his autobiography at the Private View.

Participating artists: Sumi Perera, Jolanta Jagiello, Joseph Silcott, Kate Hammersley, Jill Rock, Christy Symington, Myree Tydings and Cheryl James.

All welcome at the Private View on Wednesday 11 July 6pm-9pm
Opening speech at 6.30pm by Arthur Torrington, The Equiano Society
Readings from the autobiography, poetry readings, Gospel singing, drama enactments.

  • Mon-Fri 10-9pm, Sat: 10-4pm (except 23 Jul- 31 Aug: Mon-Fri: 10-5pm)
  • FREE


Circular Green

Morley College
61 Westminster Bridge Road, London, SE1 7HT
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