Progress on the West Africa Squadron Memorial


30.05.2024 | Memorial News

Acclaimed sculptor Vincent Gray is deep in the throes of creation, working meticulously on the West Africa Squadron Memorial statue in his studio nestled in the picturesque Sussex countryside near Chilgrove.

Known for his evocative and intricate works, Gray’s latest project pays tribute to the valiant efforts of the Royal Navy’s West Africa Squadron, a force dedicated to suppressing the transatlantic slave trade in the 19th century.

Gray’s studio, surrounded by the serene beauty of rolling hills and verdant fields, provides an inspiring backdrop for this monumental task. The tranquility of the Sussex countryside offers a stark contrast to the turbulent history that the memorial seeks to commemorate. Here, amid nature’s calm, Gray channels his passion and skill into sculpting a piece that will honour the courage and humanity of those who fought against the horrors of slavery.

West Africa Squadron Memorial Statue - Detail

The West Africa Squadron Memorial is set to be a powerful reminder of a pivotal yet often overlooked chapter in history. Gray’s dedication to this project is evident in every painstaking detail he carves into the clay. From the expressive faces of the individuals portrayed to the dynamic forms capturing moments of struggle and rescue, each element of the statue tells a story of bravery and compassion.

As Gray progresses, the anticipation builds not just among art enthusiasts but also among historians and descendants of those who served in the Squadron. This memorial promises to be more than just a work of art; it will be a beacon of remembrance and education, shedding light on the noble efforts of the West Africa Squadron.

West Africa Squadron Memorial Statue - Detail

In the peaceful environs of Chilgrove, Vincent is continuing his labour of love, turning blocks of clay into a lasting tribute to humanity’s relentless pursuit of justice and freedom. As the statue takes shape, it stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of those who fought against the tides of oppression, forever immortalised in Gray’s masterful hands.

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