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Past Artwork

Black Ark

Oluseye Ogunlesi

Artwork image for Black Ark


A vessel. A threshold. A space for reflection. 

In Black Ark, Nigerian Canadian artist Oluseye Ogunlesi explores Canada’s role in the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. Referencing the slave ships that were built in Canada, this cathedral-like structure invites you into the hold of a ship, creating passage and revealing the fractured and erased history of enslavement in Canada. Etched into the structure, the phrase Exodus 1792 pays homage to the 1196 Free Blacks who departed Halifax in the winter of 1792 for a new beginning in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Built of wood and polished metal, Black Ark commemorates the migrations of Black people through time, space and place.

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