At a time when we are facing deep divisions across our societies, shaped by intensely partisan politics, and social and economic inequality, this exhibition is a reminder that when people come together they can achieve the seemingly impossible. The two new works created in 2020, Unity I & II, are a celebration of the democratic process, a commemoration of change, and a symbol of hope.
The iconography in these artworks is derived from Day 1, Light, the first of the seven silkscreen prints from Green’s critically acclaimed series 'In Seven Days...' for which Green created the symbol of the seven hands, with different gestures, united in a circle of light. This is a powerful example of how non-verbal gestures embody and communicate so beyond words. The imagery represents the long arc of history, it can take generations to enact meaningful change, and many years before the impact is truly understood. The original design was inspired by the Democratic National Convention which took place on the 28th August, 2008, a hugely significant date in African American history. It was not only the day President Obama accepted the Democratic nomination, but also the passing of the UK Slavery Abolition Act in 1833 and the date of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech in 1963.
The iconic design in Unity I & II has been reproduced in red, white, and blue. It has taken on a new level of meaning, representing pride, freedom, heritage, liberty and justice.