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Maud Sulter obituary

Obituary relating to an individual, 2008
Published by: The Herald, Glasgow
Year published: 2008
Number of pages: 1

image of Maud Sulter obituary

Original newspaper obituary. When Maud Sulter died on 27 February, surprisingly perhaps, her death went relatively unremarked. One of the only obituaries on Sulter was this one, from the Herald, Glasgow, March 22, 2008, page 17, written by New Zealand-born Robyn Marsack. The obituary was accompanied by an uncredited portrait of Sulter, standing, her head resting between two self portraits, in a gallery. The exhibition in question could well have been Jeanne Duval | A Melodrama, a major exhibition by Sulter, held at National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh, 30 May - 31 August, 2003.

The obituary opened with, “Maud Sulter, who has died after a long illness aged 47, was an extraordinarily gifted visual artist, writer, playwright and cultural historian.” It continued, “…She was active in feminist communities in London in the early 1980s, and while working with a women’s education group programmed Check It, a groundbreaking two-week show at the Drill Hall showcasing black women’s creativity.

Having obtained a Masters degree in photographic theory (her Scottish grandfather was an amateur photographer), Sulter came to prominence as one of 11 women artists exhibited in The Thin Black Line at the ICA, London, curated by Lubaina Himid, in 1986. This show marked a significant breakthrough for contemporary black and Asian art in a British public gallery.

Sulter’s subsequent presentations gained her international recognition: she was awarded the British Telecom New Contemporaries Award 1990 and the Momart Fellowship at the Tate Gallery Liverpool in 1990. She wrote and lectured extensively on art history, focusing on women’s art practice from the mid-nineteenth to the early-twentieth centuries.

Maud Sulter was a formidable presence, but also a person of great warmth and loyalty. She faced her illness with the same determination, laughter and disregard of obstacles that characterised her life in general: “knowing/that what is/bred in the/bone cannot/be escaped”.

She had been living in semi-retirement in Dumfries for the past few years, husbanding her energies, still in the service of her art. She is survived by her mother Elsie, and her children, Ama, Efia and Alexander”

Marsack, a Glasgow resident, has been Director of the Scottish Poetry Library since 2000. After moving to Scotland in 1987, she worked as a freelance editor, critic and translator.

Related people

»  Robyn Marsack

Born in New Zealand, date unknown

»  Maud Sulter

Born, 1960 in Glasgow, Scotland. Died, 2008