Nancy, Bell, Roselle by Graham Fagen limited edition giclée print commissioned by the National Galleries of Scotland.
Nancy, Bell, Roselle (The ships that Robert Burns booked passages to Jamaica on), 2022 by Graham Fagen is an exclusive limited-edition giclée print created for the National Galleries of Scotland.
This limited edition of 100 prints is printed on Somerset enhanced 100% cotton rag paper, signed and numbered by the artist with a certificate of authentication. Paper size: 36.1 x 64 cm, image - 26.1 x 56 cm
Robert Burns had made plans to start a new life in Jamaica to begin employment on a sugar plantation worked by slaves. This print depicts the ships that he was booked to travel on, sketched from original adverts from 1786.
Six years later, in 1792 Robert Burns (1759 – 1796) wrote the powerful anti-slavery song Slave’s Lament, adopting the voice of a slave captured in Senegal and enslaved in Virginia.
This song inspired Fagen’s video installation of the same name shown at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery along with the original prints in 2017, and most recently in the New Arrivals exhibition, having entered the collection in 2020.
The original adverts for the Nancy and Bell are from The Glasgow Mercury newspaper from July and August 1786 and the Roselle is from The Edinburgh Evening Courant newspaper from Saturday October 21st, 1786.
Fagen researched and found the original adverts for these sailings and made his drawings while observing them in the Mitchell Library and the National Library of Scotland.
Graham Fagen, born in Glasgow, is one of the UK’s foremost contemporary artists. Fagen’s The Slave’s Lament is part of the National Galleries of Scotland Collection. He is currently a professor at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, Dundee, Scotland.