Emperor Haile Selassie features in Tavares Strachan new painting

Bahamian artist Tavares Strachan has a new painting, “Every Knee Shall Bow”, that features Queen Elizabeth, an Indigenous Canadian hunter, the blind reggae star Frankie Paul and the former Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie.

The title is biblical: the dictate to bow before God. Within the Rastafarian movement, Haile Selassie is considered the second coming of Christ and Queen Elizabeth reportedly made a once-in-a-lifetime bow to the emperor, who outranked her.

Much of the content of Strachan’s work originates in the “Encyclopedia of Invisibility”, that he began in 2018: a compendium of marginalised figures prompted by his interest in Matthew Henson, the black American explorer and the first man to reach the north pole in 1909.

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