Born in London, Amartey Golding often turns to his Anglo-Scottish and Ghanian ancestry, by way of a Rastafarian upbringing, as a point of departure for his art. Britannia is a moving meditation on the artist’s English ancestry, a moment of reflection on our relationship with ourselves, our past and our environment through a portrait of Britannia, a symbolic figure deeply woven into the nation’s identity.
In this new film, Golding offers a personal reframing of England’s pre-colonial past, exploring the impact traumatic periods in English history had on those who survived them; the hidden emotional wounds that may still linger, and how these experiences impact on the present. Golding casts a compassionate eye on his ancestry, and asks whether the pain, anxiety, and stress which is often palpable in present-day society is, in fact, rooted in this past.
Golding invites us to consider Norwich Castle as the location for the work’s presentation, in a building, city, and region, which has borne witness to periods of conflict, in contrast to its use now as a museum, gallery and wedding venue.
Britannia has been commissioned by Norfolk Museums Service with additional support from Autograph and Film and Video Umbrella. The commission was made possible with support from Art Fund and is sponsored by the East Anglia Art Fund.
Amartey Golding (b. 1988) is an acclaimed artist whose film and photographic works have been shown nationally and internationally, including at the V&A, Forma, Studio International and The Power Plant, Toronto.
Moving constantly around the country as a child, Golding was exposed to contrasting and often conflicting English communities. His fondness for these different worlds, and the sometimes invisible and unexpected ways in which they depended on each other, continues to inform his work today.
Supported using public funding by Arts Council England.
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