Maud Sulter was born in 1960 to a Scottish mother and Ghanaian father. Her father immigrated to the UK in 1947 and moved to Glasgow, where Sulter grew up. Her award-winning creative practice included artmaking, writing, and poetry. She was also involved in activism within the Black Feminist and LGBTQIA+ movements andestablished herself as a key figure in the British Black Arts Movement during the 1980s. She curated several exhibitions and published the texts through her self-made publishing imprint, Urban Fox Press. Her poem As A Blakwoman won the Vera Bell prize in 1985. In 1990, she won the British Telecom New Contemporaries Award and the Momart Fellowship at Tate Liverpool.
Sulter’s work was vital in elevating and uncovering Black women who had been marginalised by history. Her work today can be seen in collections such as the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Arts Council Collection, the Scottish Parliament, National Portrait Gallery, National Galleries of Scotland, among many others. Sulter died in 2008, at the age of 47, following a battle with cancer.
In the Significant Others (1993) series, Sulter explores how her upbringing shaped her artistic practice and identity. Please see all nine from the series below:
First Word Gaga
Maud and Elsie
Memories of Veils and Kisses
Elsie, Dewar, Madge and Davie
To visually explore all nine works in the series, please see our online story-telling platform Exhibit.
We will be expanding upon Sulter’s work and her legacy through blog posts that will be posted here regularly.