No Woman, No Cry - view in light

Chris Ofili

Tate Britain

Tate Britain
London, United Kingdom

The teardrops in this tender painting contain collaged pictures of the London teenager, Stephen Lawrence, victim of a racist murder in 1993. Ofili was deeply moved by Doreen Lawrence’s dignity throughout the public enquiry into her son’s death, which exposed the mishandling of the investigation and the institutional racism of the Metropolitan Police. The words ‘R.I.P. Stephen Lawrence’ are just discernible beneath the layers of paint, and made more visible with the absence of light. Despite these specific references, Ofili also intended the painting to be read in more general terms, as a universal portrayal of melancholy and grief. Purchased 1999.


  • Title: No Woman, No Cry - view in light
  • Creator: Chris Ofili
  • Creator Birth Place: Manchester, England
  • Date Created: 1998
  • Physical Dimensions: 2438 x 1828 x 51 mm
  • Original Title: No Woman, No Cry
  • More Info: Artist Biography
  • Additional Viewing Notes: We were fortunate that Chris Ofili was keen to participate in this project. He came to the Gigapixel capture session and advised the technical and editorial staff about some of the fascinating and complex aspects of the painting. With the artist’s encouragement a plan was improvised to photograph an ultra high resolution image of the phosphorescent paint glowing in the dark. This proved a serious technical challenge, but was duly met by an enthusiastic team and some creative use of lighting. The session ended near dawn, with the team proud of their work and deeply appreciative of both the artist’s efforts on the canvas, and of the meanings generated by them.
  • Provenance: Purchased 1999
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: © Chris Ofili, courtesy Victoria Miro Gallery, London
  • Medium: Mixed media on canvas

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