Black Newstead is the story of the influence and experience of Black people across nearly a thousand years at Newstead.
Saturday 2nd October – Sunday 21st November 2021
Black artists, poets, academics, photographers, teachers and residents in the community spent time here, taking inspiration to tell the Black history of this place.
You will see remarkable objects and artworks from our collection, displayed alongside these new creative responses to Newstead’s long and complex history.
Newstead Abbey is for everyone. We are determined that every person who comes here can see themselves as part of the story of this extraordinary place.
Lord Byron’s tea pot
This is said to be Byron’s favourite tea pot. It was made in China in the late 18th century.
Drinking tea was a status symbol in Byron’s lifetime, as it was a chief import from the British Empire.
Black Newstead explores how the plantation of St Mary’s in Jamaica was owned by Thomas Wildman. The profits of which gave him the wealth to buy Newstead from Lord Byron in 1818.
Honey Williams put together an art response to this museum collection object. Decolonising beauty, identity, race, music and history currently inspires Honey’s art.
The artist Seke Chimutengwende’s spent four days in the house and gardens during July 2021, reflecting on the history of the site and responding with movement and voice.
The painting series was created in collaboration with five dancers: Natifah White, Rose Sall Sao, Rhys Dennis, Alethia Antoniaand Adrienne Ming.
It was co-commissioned by dance artist Eleanor Sikorski (with support from Arts Council England), Dancing Museums 2 and Dance4.
Duke of Sussex Bedroom
With a picture of Kenneth Campbell, it celebrates a coal miner of African Caribbean heritage, who worked at Newstead Colliery.
He recalls: “I was the only black person down that pit. When I went to get the job they wouldn’t give me the job because there was no black people working there. I was the first and it was brilliant”.
Meet some of the collaborators
Black Newstead has been a community led and collaborative project working with many people across the city and Newstead Abbey’s team.
Collaborators have given dedicated support with ideas and content creation to install twenty three responses to museums objects through a mix of poems, artwork, photographs, film and audio.
Writer, poet and PhD candidate at Nottingham Trent University
Sonic and Visual Artist, singer-songwriter, and Designer
A coal miner of African Caribbean heritage worked at Newstead Colliery
Dr Martin Glynn
Criminologist, working in criminal justice, public health and educational settings.
Arit Emmanuela Etukudo
Recreates the relationship between her body’s physical movements
Director of Nottingham News Centre CIC, and founder of the Black Miner’s Museum
Photographer and filmmaker based in London
Dr Onyeka Nubia
historian, writer and presenter for publications including, History Today and BBC History Magazine.
Co commissioned dancers
Artist Eleanor Sikorski (with support from Arts Council England), Dancing Museums 2 and Dance4
Without this team and many more collaborators we would not be able to showcase these creative responses to the museum collection.
A big thank you to each individual that has been a part of putting together.
During October & November, we look forward to welcoming visitors to explore & discover Black Newstead in the Historic House.
Discover Black Newstead
Step inside Newstead Abbey’s Historic House each weekend to discover Black Newstead.
Price: Adults: £10, Child: £6 & Families (2 adults, 2 children: £25)
Book online in advance, or arrange on entry to the Historic House
“British history is about all its peoples, whomsoever they may be, including those that hail from Africa, Asia the Americas, and the Caribbean. All their lives are interwoven into the tapestry of Britishness…”