The Abbey welcomes The World Reimagined globes

Thursday, 11th August 2022

A large globe featuring a sea, tree and cherubs in the sky

The Abbey welcomed forty-two giant globes to Dean’s Yard today ahead of the launch of the UK’s largest public art trail by The World Reimagined, an education project about the transatlantic slave trade and its impact which will be delivered through learning programmes, community work and public art.

There will also be globes in Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool City Region, and Swansea. Each of these cities has up to ten globes, with the tenth globe designed by an artist in collaboration with community members local to the trail. Over 100 artists have been involved in the project as a whole.

About the globes and their importance

The globes, which were at the Abbey for one day before moving to locations around London, have each been designed by individual artists. Nicola Green, artist and social historian, has created a globe which will remain at the Abbey. Each globe aims to enable the public to experience, discover and be inspired by art as well as presenting an opportunity to be part of a discourse around racial justice.

Artist Yinka Shonibare, a British-Nigerian artist whose work explores cultural identity, colonialism and post-colonialism within the context of globalisation, chose the form for the sculptures: a globe. Each globe is identical in shape and size but individually painted.

Nicola Green’s globe, titled The World in a waterlily, Amazonica, represents the deep-rooted connection between racial justice and climate justice – the intrinsic connection between the historic oppression of people, and the exploitation of the world’s natural resources. Nicola’s globe is enveloped by the Guiana Shield - one of the largest remaining intact rainforests on earth with a sky bursting with black and brown angels embellished with 24k gold. Beneath the forest is the sea and a map which reimagines the world as a water lily.

42 globes with various designs in Dean's Yard on a sunny day

“Interconnectedness of all species and the planet”

The Very Reverend Dr David Hoyle, Dean of Westminster said:

“We are pleased to be to be supporting this important project to increase understanding about the transatlantic slave trade and its impact. Nicola Green’s globe alerts us to the interconnectedness of all species and the planet, and our duty to protect each other. With the help of this globe and those across London and the country, we will be better informed about our history and more alert to justice and hope for the future.”

Artist and social historian Nicola Green said:

"I am so honoured to have had the opportunity to make a public artwork for The World Reimagined to be outside Westminster Abbey. We have to act now to change the course of the climate emergency. To do this, we also need to confront the relationship between racial inequality and climate justice. Today, it is people of colour, who are more likely to suffer in the climate crisis, despite usually contributing the least carbon emissions.
We have the opportunity to protect the largest remaining intact rainforest in the world, the Guiana Shield, with all the wonderful secrets it holds and to reimagine a better future on our beautiful planet for our children and grandchildren."

See the globe and attend themed events

The World in a waterlily, Amazonica globe is included in The World Reimagined Westminster and Camden trail. It will be on display outside the Abbey on St Margaret’s Churchyard, by the North Door, from 13th August to 31st October. It will be free to view. The Abbey will be offering themed guided tours and community-led family events during its stay to help visitors explore the themes and issues raised by the globe.