St Thomas More sixth former auctions Black Lives Matter painting for charity

Amira Pagliari Black Lives Matter

A Year 13 student at St Thomas More (STM) School in Brickhill has been inspired by anti-racism protests to create a piece of art that she’s now auctioning for charity.

Amina Pagliari posted the picture on Twitter, with a link to the online auction. All proceeds from the sale will go to the Black Lives Matter charity.

Asked about the piece, Amina – who is hoping to study fine art at Loughborough University – said, “In times where I am left speechless, I find my voice through art.

“For about three months now I haven’t had the motivation to create any art, every day I would remind myself to do a sketch or a watercolour piece but I found myself mentally and physically restricted.

“This whole movement has been the push I needed, as I’ve been able apply my creativity for something I am truly passionate about: social justice.

“If what you have seen over the past few days has shocked you, it shouldn’t. Acts of blatant racism and police brutality against black people (and other ethnic minorities) is not new.

“Like Will Smith said ‘racism isn’t getting worse, it’s getting filmed’ and now non-black people have a duty to stand up and use their power to speak out against forms of institutionalised racism.

“I hope that those who have posted for the #blacklivesmatter movement continue to fight even when the media coverage dissipates because this isn’t a trend, it’s real life and it’s happening daily to millions going unreported.”

Black Lives Matter protests around the world, in response to the death in Minneapolis of George Floyd, have inspired Amina’s work.

You can bid on the artwork here.

“I have created this piece of art inspired by recent events. The pieces of literature seen covering parts of the face are inserts from powerful poems that are inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement.

“The line ‘We no longer wear those chains just to be painted gold’ from the poem ‘Dear Emmett Till’ holds heavy connotations.

“The reference to chains is symbolic of those worn by black slaves, a symbol of racism, sadly concealed today with a gold veneer inferring that everything is ‘perfect’.

“In a similar vein, the dripping gold partly conceals a background of blood red; a reference to the fact that the killing of innocent black people is being covered up and ignored.”

Director of Sixth Form at STM, Kirsten Bernard said, “Amina is a driven, ambitious young lady who seeks social justice.

“Here she has combined her passions; art, literature and social equality and her views on morals, ethics and equality are infectious to all around her.

“Amina won the award for Art at the school subject celebration evening and has been studying Art, Religious Education and English Literature at A Level.

“Disappointingly, she was one of those affected [by coronavirus school closures] that she could not sit and prove her superiority in these subjects in her Summer exams and we feel extremely confident that she will meet conditions of her place to study Fine Art at Loughborough University.

“The original piece is now listed for auction on eBay where 100% of the proceeds will go to the Black Lives Matter charity and she is hoping to sell prints of the image where all profits will also go to the organisation.”

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