In Seven Days…by Nicola Green
Iconic images of Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign
In Seven Days, the first European display of seven stunning silkscreen prints which tell the inspiring story of Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, closes on 14 April 2013 at the Walker Art Gallery.
Director of Art Galleries Sandra Penketh says: “There is a monumental story behind In Seven Days…. Nicola’s work is a wonderful example of how art can not just record great events, but so beautifully capture the emotion and spirit of the time.
“We’re really pleased to be the first gallery in Europe to show In Seven Days…. Liverpool has a global history which resonates with the themes of race and identity within the work.”
With unprecedented access for a British artist, Nicola was able to immerse herself in Obama’s campaign during six separate trips to theUSA. Her literal visits, as well as the themes in this story, are distilled within seven iconic images, each a denouement of the many photographs, sketches, conversations and prints the artist completed during and after her journey.
In Seven Days… has a neutral political stance. Nicola says: “The work is a deconstruction of what hope really is; a reflection on what future generations can take from this moment in history.”
There is also a deeply personal motive which drove this work. Nicola is the mother of boys of diverse heritage and was pregnant with her second child when Obama began his campaign. Nicola said: “It seemed natural and important to me that I should make a portrait of Obama, not least because when I looked at my sons I saw his face in theirs, saw their hope and their future.”
The seven images have a formal order: Light is the first in the series and represents the beginning of the story; Struggle is the history of the campaign; Hope the characters involved; Change the main protagonist; Fear conveys the obstacles encountered; Sacrifice/Embrace an ambiguous resolution, and Peace a conclusive hope for the future.
Each of the seven images is accompanied by a selection of the ephemera (including Nicola’s drawings and photographs) that informed the work. This research and preparatory material is just a tiny proportion of the work Nicola amassed, but gives some insight into the task of reducing this abundance of noise, crowds, speeches, propaganda and celebrity, to these minimal and coherent images.