This issue of the Henry Moore Institute’s journal, Essays on Sculpture, tells the story of William Darby (1796-1871), aka Pablo Fanque, the UK’s first black travelling circus proprietor. It is written by Katrina Palmer, one of the most significant artists working in Britain today. Palmer’s chosen medium is language, which she crafts into sculptural form.
The Time-Travelling Circus: The Dossier concerning Pablo Fanque and the Electrolier is a story of loss and libraries told by the Ring Mistress, the Head of Special Collections and the Special Collector. The Ring Mistress is an unreliable narrator who reports on the fate of Fanque’s first wife Susannah Darby, who died tragically during a performance involving a horse, a tight-rope and a large chandelier.
Simultaneously a journal, a fiction and an artwork, this issue of Essays on Sculpture includes a discussion with the artist on her unique approach to sculpture.