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Clio (from Zabat Series)

Maud Sulter
1989

Maud Sulter was born in Glasgow, of Scots and Ghanaian descent. She came to prominence in The Thin Black Line at the ICA, London in 1986, an exhibition curated by the artist Lubaina Himid which marked a significant breakthrough for black and Asian women artists in the UK.

Clio is from a series of photographic portraits of black artists, musicians and writers posing as the muses from Greek mythology. Sulter contrasts conventional pictorial techniques and historical costume with the histories of her contemporary sitters. Clio is the poet and performance artist Dorothea Smartt.

Maud Sulter was a leading figure in the Black Arts Movement. Rochdale Art Gallery (now Touchstones Rochdale) developed a reputation for showing work by black artists in the 1980s and 90s.