Rayvenn D’Clark – Black Renaissance

Black Renaissance by MTArt Artist Rayvenn Shaleigha D'Clark Commissioned by EJI

EJI Freedom Monument Sculpture Park, Montgomery, Alabama, USA

June 2024

millimetre were asked by MTArt Agency to produce three unique bronze sculptures for artist Rayvenn D’Clark. Commissioned by the Equality Justice Initiative for the Freedom Monument Sculpture Park.

The Freedom Monument Sculpture Park honours the lives and memories of the 10 million black people who were enslaved in America and celebrates their courage and resilience. Thousands of black people were trafficked by boat and rail to forced labour camps along the Alabama River. At the Freedom Monument Sculpture Park the lives and legacies of these people are explored, remembered and honoured. The park itself is a 17-acre site on the banks of the Alabama River that explores the lived experience of enslaved people in America.

The figures were created by 3D scanning live models and digitally altering their appearance to better reflect the individuals the sculptures celebrate. The works themselves were cast in silicone bronze by Maybrey Reliance utilising 3D sand printed moulds produced by Voxeljet. Overlaid on each figure are tens of thousands of ‘dimples’ digitally applied to the forms prior to casting. Each sculpture is made of serval separate castings the were welded back together and refinished before patinating and waxing.

London-based sculptor Rayvenn Shaleigha D’Clark’s work draws on her personal experience as a minority ethnic artist. Having showcased her work in institutions such as the Carl Freedman Gallery, Royal College of Arts, the Victoria & Albert Museum and Saatchi Gallery, she uses her voice to empower communities of color through visual storytelling to address painful histories in the U.K.

D’Clark was listed in the 2024 renowned Forbes Under 30 list, and this commission marks one of the largest commissions ever obtained for a woman under 30. Aware that monuments and public sculptures are never of women of colour, D’Clark wants to celebrate her anonymous peers: commemorating hidden figures in the public realm.

Drawing on her personal experience as a minority ethnic artist facing challenges in securing funding, she uses her voice to empower communities of colour through visual storytelling, addressing painful histories in the UK. Her innovative oeuvre bridges the gap between tradition and technology, blending digital and traditional artisanal techniques to create sculptures depicting complex representations of black anatomy.