Philomena Francis, Detail, molasses II, 2006, © Philomena Francis
Multicultural arts centre Iniva at Rivington Place, London, has commissioned artist Philomena Francis to make an art installation out of molasses for their front window.
On show from December 5 2007 to January 5 2008, the installation is titled mo’lasses III and has been created using piped black treacle. It continues Francis’ enquiry around the black female body, its contemporary representation and its relationship to colonial history.
The work is intended to provoke questions about identity and explore the complexity of viewing the black female body.
Sugar and treacle - commodities central to the transatlantic slave trade - have been used previously by Francis in wall-based and installation works such as The Brown Sugar Series (2004) and mo’lasses I and II (2005/6).
The qualities of the treacle and the way it responds to its supporting structure or site are used by the artist to reference a stream of associations and physical sensations to create an image that fluctuates between abstraction and figuration.
The project is the first window commission at Rivington Place, which is set to become an annual event.