Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Photograph - Terpsichore (Delta Streete)
  • Terpsichore (Delta Streete)
    Sulter, Maud, born 1960 - died 2008
  • Enlarge image

Terpsichore (Delta Streete)

  • Object:

    Photograph

  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (probably, photographed)

  • Date:

    1989 (photographed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Sulter, Maud, born 1960 - died 2008 (photographer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Dye destruction print

  • Credit Line:

    Copyright Maud Sulter

  • Museum number:

    E.1795-1991

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This photograph is from a series of portraits of creative black women by Maud Sulter, who is of Ghanaian and Scottish parentage. The series is called Zabat and shows each woman as one of the nine Greek muses. The word Zabat describes an ancient ritual dance performed by women on occasions of power, and her use of it signifies Maud Sulter's call for a repositioning of black women in the history of photography

The model here is the performance artist Delta Streete who had created the costume she is pictured wearing as part of a dance performance and installation called The Quizzing Class, which explored relationships between women, particularly that between slave and mistress. Here Streete is presented as Terpsichore, the muse of dance.

Maud Sulter produced the Zabat series for Rochdale Art Gallery in 1989, the 150th anniversary of the invention of photography. It was a direct response to the lack of a black presence at other celebratory events and exhibitions.

Physical description

Photograph of Delta Streete represented as Terpsichore, the muse of dance.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (probably, photographed)

Date

1989 (photographed)

Artist/maker

Sulter, Maud, born 1960 - died 2008 (photographer)

Materials and Techniques

Dye destruction print

Dimensions

Height: 122 cm, Width: 153 cm, Height: 140 cm framed, Width: 116 cm framed, Depth: 4.5 cm framed

Historical context note

Maud Sulter works with photography as well as video and installation. Amongst her recent projects has been a series of allegorical portraits of contemporary black women which used conventional studio techniques along with the trappings of historical displays. Sulter also uses a variety of conventions from portraiture - from 18th century costume to heavy Victorian frames. The contrast between these anachronistic and aristocratic styles and the actual histories of her sitters is used to poetic effect and also raises questions about the nature of 'national' heritage.

Descriptive line

'Terpsichore' (Delta Streete), dye destruction print, Zabat series, Maud Sulter, 1989

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Katy Barron, Looking In. Photographic Portraits by Maud Sulter and Chan-Hyo Bae. London: Ben Uri Gallery, 2013. ISBN: 978-0-900157-42-4.

Labels and date

This photograph is from a series of portraits of creative black women posed as the nine Greek muses. It shows the performance artist Delta Streete as Terpsichore, the muse of dance. Combining the conventions of historical portraiture - the 18th-century costume and heavy gilt frames - with the representation of contemporary black women, the series raises questions about the nature of 'national' heritage. [April 2009-April 2010]

Subjects depicted

Wig; Woman

Categories

Photographs; Black History; Portraits

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.