The artist hopes that his forthcoming work will be David Oluwale’s “fitting legacy”
In memory of David Oluwale, British-Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare is creating a sculpture with the intention of cementing a “fitting legacy” for the Nigerian man who drowned after police harassment in Leeds in the 1960s. “lasting, hopeful”lasting, hopeful” he said. ” “Leeds City Council and the Arts Council are promoting the work, which stems from a 2007 proposal by author and academic Caryl Phillips. She is the founding patron of the David Oluwale Memorial Association (DOMA), which has been campaigning for a memorial for many years. Dr. Emily Zobel Marshall of DOMA said Leeds has a duty to “acknowledge, learn from and be influenced by” Oluwale’s li People don’t really ask for much: we ask for work and to be treated fairly. The sculpture is the latest project to commemorate the life of Oluwale, who was featured at the Leeds Playhouse in a 2009 play by Oladipo Agboluaje, based on Kester Aspden’s book of the same name: David Oluwale’s Hounding.
In the aftermath of the Black Lives Matter protests in the summer of 2020, the announcement of the sculpture follows an internal review of Leeds city statues and monuments and potential ties to slavery. The review found that no individuals considered to be “directly linked to the slave trade” will be honoured, but said that empire, colonialism and slavery are still “prominent influences within the city’s visible heritage.”
“This sculpture promises to be a fitting tribute to David and should also be a source of inspiration and pride for the people who continue to work tirelessly to make Leeds a place that offers a warm welcome to all.”This sculpture promises to be a fitting tribute t