September 21, 2023


Art For Everyone

Stacy Lynn Waddell’s Goldenhot Butterfly Queen acquired for Bristol Museum & Artwork Gallery

3 min read

American artist Stacy Lynn Waddell’s Goldenhot Butterfly Queen has been acquired for Bristol Museum & Artwork Gallery via the Valeria Napoleone XX Modern Artwork Society award, which helps the acquisition of serious works by a residing feminine artist for a museum assortment. This monumental gold leaf picture brings collectively two figures in colonial historical past. Sarah Baartman (1789-1815), the so-called ‘Hottentot Venus’ and Thelma ‘Butterfly’ McQueen (1911-1995), the Hollywood actor, ‘Prissy’ from Gone with the Wind. This work might be on show within the gallery from March, as it is going to be revealed on the 8th March, coinciding with Worldwide Ladies’s Day. 


Bristol obtained the VN XX CAS award within the aftermath of the infamous toppling of the statue of Edward Colston. The questions raised by this momentous act foreground not simply who’s memorialised however who makes the figures set in stone or bronze for future generations. The museum was searching for to recalibrate this debate, in direction of an artwork of inclusivity away from singular heroic figures and grand aesthetic gestures. Waddell’s watercolour approaches these goals. Impressed by Butterfly McQueen, whose character Prissy was a stereotype of a silly black maid, Waddell’s drawing options butterflies retreating.


‘Simply earlier than issues get too scary and earlier than I awake myself I start to fly. What amazement! Simply as I acquire altitude …I’m left questioning if my true energy is the flexibility to fly or the flexibility to wake myself’ – Stacy Lynn Waddell, Letter to Butterfly McQueen

Rendered in gold leaf, the butterflies flutter across the monumental gold leaf picture of Sarah Baartman, reclaiming her exploited physique, which is not exhibited as an unique, a curiosity and a bodily (steatopygic) kind to suit a racialist principle. Waddell reverses the racialist voyeurism of the exhibiting of Baartman because the so-called Hottentot Venus, to reclaim Baartman’s physique as an icon of Black magnificence and delight.


Though a monumental work, the valuable fragility of this drawing on paper, the twin figures alluded to, are distinct from the everlasting memorializing of statues such because the toppled Colston: narratives are challenged, and house is given for alternate options.


Stacy Lynn Waddell (b. North Carolina, 1966) lives and works in North Caroline. Latest solo exhibition embody CANDICE MADEY, New York, NY (2021); Visible Arts Heart of Richmond, Richmond, VA (2015); and Weatherspoon Artwork Museum, Greensboro, NC (2011) Latest group exhibitions embody The Artwork of the Ecstatic, KARMA, New York, NY (curated by Hilton Als) (2021); Pennsylvania Academy of the Superb Arts, Philadelphia, PA (2021); Elizabeth A. Sackler Heart for Feminist Artwork, Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY (2018). Her work is within the collections of The Princeton Artwork Museum, The Studio Museum in Harlem, The Brooklyn Museum, amongst quite a few different museums and personal collections. In fall of 2022, Stacy might be a Civitella Ranieri Basis Fellow in Umbria, Italy. In 2017, she was an Artist-in-Residence at Joan Mitchell Heart in New Orleans. She was a 2010 recipient of the Joan Mitchell Basis.


Introduced by the Modern Artwork Society via VNXX CAS, 2021/22

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