Theophina Gabriel


Theophina Gabriel is an award-winning published poet from Slough and graduate from the University of Oxford where she studied Philosophy & Theology. Her writing has been commissioned by the BBC and published in the Tower Poets Anthology, The Linden Avenue Journal and various other journals and publications.

When not writing she can be found organising weekly meetings for her award-winning creative independent publication for Black creatives, Onyx Magazine. Having completed an internship at Stormzy’s publishing imprint #Merky Books she is a now working on her own material. She is madly in love with Black British narratives and The Colour Purple.

This piece celebrates the influence Black people had and continue to have on the culture, on the environments we touch. I cut two gold rings, placing one as a floating seat, almost throne-like, and the other above the head, the effect of the person being larger than the roads, than the traffic and to be almost floating speaks to the way Black culture has transcended time, from our music to our political movements, I wanted to provide something to counter the narrative that we are always beneath, or struggling. Even though racism is a daily reality, our impact and effect is undeniable. The striking colours represent this, your eye can't help but be drawn to us.

I wanted to try to capture what it feels like to escape, like when I used to ride my bike more and the world just felt clear and I didn't feel real. It's a mad feeling, like you're there but it's like you're watching everything out of a screen from behind your eyes. It's a good feeling I think, but reality feels weird, like a game. I pixellated the subject here, and layered her beneath the grass, she's still apart of her surroundings but she's not at the same time. The textures are different. You wonder if the world doesn't fit with her or whether she doesn't fit in with the world. Either way, she's a part of it, but the pixelation stops us from being able to see the emotion on her face. I like that ambiguity it's a canvas for every emotion and none at the same time. Like how I used to feel when I was riding my bike to clear my head.