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Urania from the series Zabat
© Maud Sulter

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Urania from the series Zabat 1989

Not on display

  • Scottish Art
This photograph is one of a series of nine, entitled 'Zabat' which means 'a sacred dance,' 'an occasion of power' or 'a black women's rite of passage'. Urania is one of the muses of Greek mythology and governs astronomy. Isn't the black woman a wonderful personification of Urania? Her dark glossy skin matches the luxury of the star-lit sky at night. Her traditional dress reflects the blues and violets of heaven. The muses were chiselled out of white marble by the sculptors of antiquity, this one is a living woman whose skin has been loved by the sun.

Glossary Open


A general term for the civilisations of Ancient Greece and Rome. Also used as a general term to describe something very old.



  • Acc. No. PGP 227.1
  • Medium Cibachrome print, gilt frame, transfer lettering
  • Size 121.00 x 95.70 cm
  • Credit Bequest of the Scottish Arts Council 1997