Brathwaite’s work has been featured in the Getty’s blog The Iris. Interviews with him about the project can be seen on TRT’s Newsfeed and heard on Dress: Fancy podcast, and will be part of the upcoming Getty Challenge book.
A few faves: (links are to Brathwaite’s Twitter, where each work has a mini-thread providing context)
Abraham Cresques: Mansa Musa (1375). Detail from the Catalan Atlas. On a page of trade routes sits a West African king holding a golden coin. Reworked with bathrobe, broom and red wool.
Conrad Kyeser: The Queen of Sheba. From manuscript “Bellifortis” (c.1402). She wears a luxurious gown with bells hanging from the waist. Reworked with lemons, grapefruit, fairy lights and tissue paper.
Anon: Retable with the Virgin and Saints (c.1510). Detail from Adoration of the Magi. Balthasar presents his gift in a splendidly mounted ox horn. Reworked with Santa hat, loo roll and Barbados rum.
Anon: John Blanke [from Westminster Tournament Roll], (1511). Royal trumpeter for Henry VII and Henry VIII. Reworked with upside down trumpet, clothes horse and West African print.
Basset: Moi Libre [I am free] (1794). A free man holds a tropical fruit to signal his work and location in a French Caribbean colony. Reworked with Côte d’Ivoire print, spirit level, and Pink Lady.
Alexandre François Girardin: Toussaint L’Ouverture (1805). General and best-known leader of the Haitian Revolution. Reworked with duster, Stanley window scraper and Marigold glove.
John Thomas Smith: Joseph Johnson (1815). Reworked with cardboard, mop and Afro print flag. Johnson was an ex-seaman street singer in London. He built and wore a model of the ship Nelson on his head.
Isaac Belisario: Koo, Koo, or Actor-Boy (1836). A street performer wears an elaborate carnival costume or dress, while holding a fan. Reworked with map of the Caribbean, granny’s quilt, disco lights and cou cou stick.
H. L. Stephens: Man reading headline, “Presidential Proclamation, Slavery”(1863). Referring to Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. Reworked reading Peggy’s manumission papers (my great granny x4).
Thomas S. Smith: The Pipe of Freedom (1869). A free man stands where a slave sale notice has been partially covered by an abolition notice. Reworked with incense from mum, granny’s quilt and family slavery records.