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- Artist: Donkor; Kimathi (1965 -)
- Production Date: 2005
- Production Period:
- Object Name: Painting
- ObjectNumber: OP951
- Date: 2005
- Summary: This image is based on a historical event of a police raid in London. A policeman can be seen gesturing towards a woman who is protecting another injured woman.
- Description: This painting is one of a number by the artist which focuses on the deadly clashes between the British State and the black community, which erupted between 28th September and 6th October 1985. During this calamitous week, an innocent, unarmed, black grandmother, Dorothy Groce, was shot and paralysed by police in her home, and an innocent, black grandmother, Cynthia Jarrett, died of a heart attack - also during a raid on her home. These incidents are recalled in the paintings Under Fire: the shooting of Cherry Groce and Madonna Metropolitan: the death of Cynthia Jarrett. The protests which followed escalated into running street battles between the police and local residents, which culminated in the violent death of a police officer, Keith Blakelock, at the hands of unknown assailants, and which Donkor recalled in the paintings, Coldharbour Lane: 1985 and On Duty: the death of PC Blakelock. In the aftermath of these events, amongst hundreds of reprisal arrests and trials, three men (two of African-Caribbean descent and one of Turkish ancestry) were wrongly convicted for the murder of PC Blakelock and given life sentences in prison. Simultaneously, the artist had joined local campaigners organising to raise public awareness about the fate of these detainees. This included visiting and writing letters to prisoners, activities which Donkor participated in. In 1991, the Court of Appeal acquitted all three prisoners, concluding that police officers had fabricated the evidence against them. Statement from the artist: I first exhibited this work under the title 'Madonna Metropolitan' in 2005. However, in statements and artist's talks, I was clear that it was a 'history painting' addressing the death of Mrs Cynthia Jarrett during a police raid on her Tottenham, London home in 1985. I asked members of my family to pose for the figures and also researched press reports, Mrs Jarrett's inquest and vernacular accounts to help envision the incident. It was one of a set of historical confrontations and calamities I had re-imagined for my 2005 solo exhibition 'Fall/Uprising' at the Bettie Morton Gallery in Brixton, London-which marked 20 years since the events recalled in the seven paintings. In 2015, I added the phrase ': the death of Cynthia Jarrett' to the title.
- Dimensions: 152cm x 152cm
- Related People:
- For more information contact: Wolverhampton Arts and Museums Service