Two swashbuckling queer female pirates erased from history commemorated with powerful new statue

Two trailblazing female pirates who shared a tender same-sex romance have been commemorated with a striking new statue. 

Anne Bonny and Mary Read, born in the late 18th century, have largely been erased from history by predominantly male historians – but now, they are taking their rightful place in the annals of the past.

The women, who were lovers, have been immortalised by artist Amanda Cotton in a sculpture titled Inexorable.

Previewed at London’s Execution Docks on 18 November, the artwork was commissioned to mark the launch of Hell Cats, a new Audible podcast that celebrates Bonny and Read’s lives and their love for one another.

In creating the powerful sculpture, Cotton decided to focus on the women’s incredible personalities and lives instead of their appearances.

“The sculpture’s design is a metaphor for Bonny and Read’s personalities – fire and earth,” she said.

“Individually they were strong independent women but when Anne (fire) and Mary (earth) combine, they were dangerously unstoppable.”

The sculpture is made from marine concrete, and will be permanently homed at Burgh Island, a South Devon tidal retreat that was popular with pirates.

“The marine concrete the sculpture is made of will, over time, create a habitable environment for the surrounding wildlife, whilst being cast into the natural rock so that the two figures truly become one with their environment,” Cotton added.

Inexorable will be open to the public from early 2021.

Hell Cats is available exclusively on Audible, and an exclusive limited run of Hell Cats merch is available through Audible’s Instagram.

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