My view on Nicola Green’s presidential campaign exhibition “In Seven Days”.
(The exhibition is currently being displayed at the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, England. Nicola’s first European display of the prints).
Nicola Green is a British artist who, it seems, felt compelled to curate an exhibition surrounding the election campaign of America’s first black presidential candidate due to the diverse heritage of her two young sons. The exhibition is a culmination of almost two years of Nicola’s research, thoughts, photographs and preparation.
“In Seven Days” is seven large iconic silkscreen prints, displayed chronologically.
Day 1 – Light
Day 2 – Struggle
Day 3 – Hope
Day 4 – Change
Day 5 – Fear
Day 6 – Sacrifice/Embrace
Day 7 – Peace
On entering the exhibition, there are several glass display cases showcasing Nicola’s research and ephemera. These contain Nicola’s photographs, local newspapers, posters, articles, badges, and also some of Nicola’s initial sketches and handwritten notes. The wealth of research that has gone in to this exhibition is immense, and this adds to the depth of the images. As a visitor, you can really see where Nicola has got her inspiration from for each image.
In listening to her audio interview and explanation of the exhibition, Nicola explains that with her children being of mixed race, she felt as though she needed to document this part of history, should Obama be successful becoming the first black President of the United States of America. Nicola also admits to having a monastic approach to her research by consuming herself in the campaign trail by traveling throughout America following Obama on most of his campaign trail and by collecting leaflets, local papers, badges and other paraphernalia to really capture the mood and tone of his supporters.
Her research really shows how she wanted to capture the theme of democracy and how people come together, going beyond identity and race. She was also present at Obama’s nomination acceptance speech event in Denver, when it was also the 45th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s ‘I have a dream’ speech. How apt. Martin Luther King would be proud.
My favorite images are Day 1 – Light, representing the prolific amount of hands throughout the campaign gesturing acceptance and conformity. Day 3 – Hope, where you can almost feel the tension and concentration on the faces of the communities that want to listen to what the campaigner is promising. Day 5 – Fear, shows the face of adversity. The power of the world’s media and the associated propaganda. Day 7 – Peace. The jobs done. Nicola uses the hand gesture that we all know globally. In this case it really does represent, peace, thanks, promise.
I think that this exhibition is simplistic yet inspiring. The images are clean and bold, juxtaposed by a myriad of research material. The election of Barack Obama has gone down in history, and this personal exhibition of one British women’s documentation of the event gives a individual insight into a spectator’s point of view.
The exhibition can be viewed online, via the following links:-
Day 1 – Light
(Images reproduced by kind permission of National Museums Liverpool & Nicola Green)