Steve McQueen’s powerful film, “Twelve Years A Slave” was nominated for 9 Academy Awards and won for Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress and Best Adapted Screenplay. Poster Posse members Doaly and Ben Mcleod have each done a print for the film and they are exceptional.
Doaly had this to say about his piece. “After watching 12 Years a Slave I wanted to visualize the struggle of the man and the heartache of being enslaved and separated from his family for 12 years. I chose to use the violin as symbol of Solomon Northup’s freedom and as slavery had bound him it also bound his music. The music he played during this period of this life was not that of a freeman, My aim was in someway to try and represent this in my work.”
TWELVE YEARS A SLAVE is based on an incredible true story of one man’s fight for survival and freedom. In the pre-Civil War United States, Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery. Facing cruelty (personified by a malevolent slave owner, portrayed by Michael Fassbender), as well as unexpected kindnesses, Solomon struggles not only to stay alive, but to retain his dignity. In the twelfth year of his unforgettable odyssey, Solomon’s chance meeting with a Canadian abolitionist (Brad Pitt) will forever alter his life.
Here is artist Ben Mcleod’s take on the film along with some insight about the project. “I decided to depict Patsey in this image because I saw her as the most tragic figure in the film. She had submitted completely to her enslavement and lost all hope. I made a choice to have Patsey’s features almost non existent for obvious thematic reasons of identity and racial views in the 1800s. The stark contrast between Patsey’s skin color and the white background was also a deliberate and meaningful choice. I wanted to strike a balance between her being visually muted and yet retain a certain beauty.”