A 42-foot-high fountain inspired by the history of slavery was today unveiled as the latest monumental work in Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall.
Around 35,000 litres of water will cascade down from a Venus-like figure on the top of the fountain into an upper pool before flowing into a second pool and then being reused.
American artist Kara Walker’s work started as a pencil sketch and a series of rough clay models before a digital design was created and a robotic arm used to cut the huge shapes out of cork before they were covered in Jesmonite to recreate its stone-like surface.
The fountain is based on the Victoria Memorial in front of Buckingham Palace while the pools are home to a series of smaller sculptures inspired by major works of art, including the shark famously preserved in formaldehyde by Damien Hirst.
Also included is a tree complete with a noose hanging from a branch, referencing lynchings carried out in America’s Deep South, and a vessel inspired by Turner’s painting The Slave Ship which showed a real-life atrocity when slaves were thrown to their deaths in the ocean so traders could claim insurance payments for them.
OOriginal source https://www.standard.co.uk