[NAMES II] an evocation (2019-2021)

In 2022, Elaine Mitchener was commissioned a new work by British Art Show 9.

British Art Show 9 is curated by Irene Aristizábal and Hammad Nasar and showcased the work of 47 artists. Focusing on work made since 2015, the exhibition reflects a precarious moment in Britain’s history. During this time politics of identity and nation, and concerns of social, racial and environmental justice have pervaded public consciousness. www.britishartshow9.co.uk

For me, the challenge was to liberate the dry historical facts of slavery and somehow breathe life into them. I had to seek ways to absorb information, much of which was deeply upsetting, disturbing and difficult to accept.
Elaine Mitchener

Mitchener’s installation – [NAMES II] an evocation (2019-2021) – memorialises some of the 2,000 enslaved African people owned by an 18th-century sugar planter. He inventoried these people along with other possessions such as furniture and livestock, replacing their birth names with English names.

“Equally powerful and evocative is Elaine Mitchener‘s sound installation [NAMES II] (2019-2021), memorialising some of the 2,000 enslaved African people owned by an Aberdeenshire sugar planter in Jamaica.” The Gaudie

“Elaine Mitchener’s poignant (NAMES II) is a roll-call of the 2,000 enslaved African people owned by an 18th century Jamaican sugar planter, whose family came from Aberdeenshire.” The Press and Journal

“Elaine Mitchener’s [NAMES II] an evocation (2019–21), which memorialises some of the 2,000 enslaved people owned by a sugar-planter with family in Aberdeenshire. Through overlapping readings, each life is reduced to no more than an imposed English name, a gender and a monetary value.” Art Review