This post is a visual guide to the process of making the head that represents our King David Oluwale, and the harness that will be used to carry the sculpture at the Leeds West Indian Carnival (on 25th and 28th August 2017). Major thanks to the artists Alan Pergusey, Hughbon Condor and Jane Storr for all their hard work here.

1. ALAN PERGUSEY’S SOURCES

Harrison Bundey Mama Dread (HBMD) mas camp commissioned the Leeds artist Alan Pergusey to make King David’s head. For inspiration, Alan used the police photo of David, and this much livelier painting of David  by the Scarborough artist Lynne Arnison:

 

But we asked Alan to put a smile on King David’s face. Partly to remind everyone that his first few years (1949-53) in Leeds seem to have had lots of good moments.  (Hence the title of Jeremy Sandford’s radio play: Smiling David (Calder & Boyers, 1974).) And partly because carnival is about joyful pleasure, as well as social comment.

So Alan found photos of smiling African men and used those to guide the form he made for the sculpture.

 

 

 

 

 

2. ALAN PERGUSEY MAKES THE HEAD OF KING DAVID FROM PAPIER-MACHÉ

Here Alan is at work applying his patent mix of newspaper, water and Polyfiller.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. CARNIVAL ARTISTS VISIT ALAN’S WORKSHOP TO DECIDE HOW TO CARRY KING DAVID

In the photo on the right, Hughbon Condor, founder of the Leeds-based carnival company High Esteem, is holding the sculpture to see how it can be supported on the shoulders of HBMD’s Simon Namsoo, who will be performing the King David character at the carnival. Alan in red T shirt and Sheldon in green top. On the floor is the rear portion of David’s head.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. HUGHBON CONDOR MAKES THE HARNESS TO CARRY THE SCULPTED HEAD OF DAVID

Here, Hughbon is putting the finishing touches to a harness specially designed to take the weight of the King David sculpture. Hughbon is Leeds’ most successful carnival artist, designing and making costumes that have won the Leeds Queen Show competition since the 1970s. He makes costumes for carnivals all over the UK and abroad.

 

5. KING DAVID CARRIED ALOFT FOR THE FIRST TIME

Sai Murray, surrounded by others in the Harrison Bundey Mama Dread (HBMD) mas camp, shows how King David can be carried. Because it proved too heavy, the rear portion of the head is not being used at this stage. This photo was taken outside the Unity Business Centre in Leeds, where HBMD and High Esteem have their workshops.

 

6. JANE STORR ANIMATES OUR KING DAVID

Leeds painter Jane Storr of Redbrick Arts Studios in Batley, and a member of HBMD, paints Alan’s sculpture, bringing King David to life.

 

 

 

7. THE TEAM TRIES OUT THE FINAL VERSION OF THE HARNESS

 

L-R: Jane, Hughbon, Simon Namsoo and Sheldon check the harness

Simon Namsoo will perform our King David at the King and Queen Show (25.8.17) and will lead the Harrison Bundey Mama Dread’s 150 migrant masqueraders in the carnival parade on 28th August 2017.

MORE INFORMATION 

Check out the HBMD “All Ah We Are Migrants” migrant masqueraders troupe HERE  HBMD’s 150 masqueraders will wear costumes representing our welcome to refugees and other migrants. The troupe will be led by our King David Oluwale, asking the city to Remember Oluwale and increase its efforts to make Leeds a place of hospitality to all those who are oppressed and marginalised.

Check out the making of the HMBD flower costumes in this post by our Leeds University digital media placement student Heena Siddiqi HERE