Artist David Johnson‘s life-sized sculpture of Stella Headley is shown drinking, eating and engaged in conversation. The other seats around the table are empty and visitors are warmly invited to sit with Stella to enjoy refreshments and a conversation.
By doing so the boundary between the art and the audience becomes blurred; the monumental statue has climbed down from its lofty, inaccessible plinth.
The table has been significantly altered in order to make it accessible for wheelchairs and buggies. On the table are some cast objects that mimic ordinary café table clutter. The table includes a plaque together with some embedded braille that briefly describes Stella’s life and her work for the people of Lewisham (see translation below).
About Stella Headley
Stella has worked tirelessly and generously for under-privileged Lewisham residents since her childhood. She has an amazing passion for getting things done for the community. Stella has been involved in several food projects in Lewisham and her passion ensures no one knowingly goes hungry. She frequently makes deep connections with those she is helping.
Stella says: “I am Sistah Stella Headley, I am Rastafari, and from a Black Caribbean family. I am the youngest of five sisters, and was born in a council house in Sydenham in Lewisham, in the 1960s. Growing up was often quite rough and tough as we were the only Black Caribbean family in our area. There was a lot of racism in those days and not a day would go past where you didn’t experience something negative. It made us resilient though, and us five girls were formidable, WE stood up to racism and inequality from then right up until now.”