An exhibition explored Brodsworth Hall’s connections to the transatlantic slave trade, featuring specially commissioned wire sculptures. The exhibition, Liberty and Lottery, was named after two slave ships part-owned by one of Brodsworth’s previous owners, Peter Thellusson (1735-1797). Thellusson amassed considerable wealth through financial dealings which were heavily connected with the transatlantic slave trade, including financing plantations.
Created by nationally renowned carnival artist Carl Gabriel, the five steel wire sculptures were positioned across the hall and gardens. Each sculpture reflected an aspect of Brodsworth’s connection to the transatlantic slave trade, interpreting themes including the voyage of the Lottery, plantations, inheritance, knowledge and memory.
A site-specific poem by award-winning Malika Booker was displayed in the dining room. Her poem ‘Songs of Mahogany’ considers the use of luxurious tropical hardwoods throughout the Hall. Finally, a trail throughout the ground floor highlighted objects and interior features associated with or linked to the transatlantic slave trade. This culminated in a display exploring contemporary attitudes towards the slave trade and colonialism through the books in Brodsworth’s collection, displayed for the first time in the library.
The Liberty and Lottery exhibition was shortlisted for a 2022 Museum and Heritage Award.
Liberty and Lottery: Exploring the transatlantic slave trade at Brodsworth Hall and Gardens ran from September 2021 to November 2022.