This week, we unveiled Gordon Shadrach’s Opus 7: a brand-new portrait of 18th-century Black composer Joseph Bologne. This portrait will serve as the cover art of our reissued digital album, The Music of Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges.
Opus 7 by Gordon Shadrach
Based in Toronto, and born and raised in Brampton, Ontario, Shadrach has exhibited in solo and group art shows in Canada and the United States, and works from photographs at his in-home studio. In this interview, get to know Shadrach, his work, and his relationship to this project.
Artist Gordon Shadrach. Photo by Aous Poules.
Had you heard of Joseph Bologne and his music prior to this collaboration with Tafelmusik?
Gordon Shadrach: I had not heard of Joseph Bologne and his music prior to working with Tafelmusk. Given that I am aware of a number of other composers of the era, I think this links to the lack of representation of his music and the erasure of Black achievements and abilities.
Can you speak a little bit about your process, in creating this portrait of Bologne? Did you research him, or listen to his music, while in the process of creating it?
GS: When I was approached about the project I went on a fact-finding mission. I watched a documentary about him and enjoyed listening to his music. The challenge was finding visual representations of him that offered insights into who he really was as a person. I also wanted to better understand the historical style of the period when he was composing so I researched the fashions of the time.Read Full Story