top of page

The Mary Seacole Memorial Sculpture

♣️ Motions in Monochrome - The Art of Black & White ♣️

This is the Mary Seacole Memorial Sculpture which you can find just outside St Thomas’ Hospital, London.

It was made by sculptor Martin Jennings and unveiled in 2016.

It honours Mary Seacole, a British-Jamaican nurse who treated British troops during the Crimean War and who was posthumously voted first in a poll of 100 "Great Black Britons".

Travelling to the Crimea independently after her attempts to join the official nursing schools led by Florence Nightingale were unsuccessful, Seacole set up a base hospital as a recreational and convalescence facility for officers and men and was referred to as "Mother Seacole" by those she treated.

Returning to England in 1856, she published an autobiography, Wonderful Adventures of Mrs. Seacole in Many Lands, the following year.

Seacole spent the last few years of her life living in poverty and after her death, largely disappeared from public awareness until the centenary of her death in 1991 revived interest.

The figure of Seacole stands facing the houses of parliament. The disc which is behind the figure imitates the land surface of where Seacole established her hospital base during the war.

Artist Jennings intended the disc to hold a literal significance - as a depiction of the place where her reputation was first established, and a symbolic meaning - a reminder of the block to her ambitions.

In 2017 the sculpture was shortlisted for the Marsh Awards, established by the Public Monuments and Sculpture Association to raise awareness of Britain's monument heritage.

Seacole's statue is generally considered to be the first in Britain to recognise a named black woman

What do you think of the work?

Have you been lucky enough to see it in real life?

7 views0 comments


Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page