In Seven Days...

“An artistic and historic masterpiece” The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

“Adding In Seven Days... to the National Portrait Gallery collection is invaluable to the museum’s ongoing mission to tell the entirety of American history.” Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, Washington DC

“The work, when I look at it, is not about the 2008 election, it’s really about each individual’s responsibility to history and to the furthering of history.” Katherine Blood, The Library of Congress, Washington DC

In 2008 Nicola Green gained unprecedented artistic access to Barack Obama’s Presidential campaign. Green had a front row seat to historic events: from President Obama’s infamous DNC nomination speech to Inauguration, Green was behind-the-scenes taking photographs, making sketches, and having conversations with press, staff and citizens. Green sought to understand why this story had captured the interest of the entire world.

Green’s children, like President Obama, are mixed race. She wanted to understand how they would be seen, how they would be treated, and who their role models might be. Green wanted to record this momentous occasion for the future, and to explore what Obama’s legacy would be for the next generation across the world. In Seven Days… reflects a vibrant connection between the artist, the central subject, American citizens and the rest of the world. It illuminates a time in contemporary American history characterised by unbridled optimism and the imperative for racial equality in the highest office of the nation. In Seven Days... is an invaluable resource for social history, which captures the significance of President Obama’s campaign and its importance in the long trajectory of history.

In making In Seven Days... Green employed a painstaking three-step process. The first stage consisted of internalising her vast amount of research; from her own archive of sketches and thousands of photographs, as well as newspapers, magazines and paraphernalia. Green spent three years reflecting on her witness of these incredible events and researching their complex themes. In the second stage, Green reduced profile, gesture and context to the minimum information needed to maintain critical form. She created a series of primary artworks. Following this, Green used the printed medium as a drawing device, experimenting with pattern and repetition, deliberately toying with the techniques of the mass media – printing, cuttings and photography snapped on the move. All of this led her to the final images In Seven Days... a narrative set of seven silk-screen prints.

In Seven Days... is in the permanent collections of the National Portrait Gallery - Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Library of Congress, Washington D.C; International Slavery Museum, Liverpool; and The Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool.


Nicola Green with President Barack Obama Election Night, Chicago 2008 and Oval Office, January 2017. Official White House Photography by Pete Souza

Installation, In Seven Days... by Nicola Green The Walker Gallery, Liverpool 2013

In Seven Days… vitrines exhibited at The Walker Gallery, Liverpool.

The vitrines exemplify Green’s huge archive of primary resources, photographs, newspapers, sketches, and paraphernalia. This archive informed the first stage of the process of creating In Seven Days…

Nicola Green on BBC Newsnight discussing Kehinde Wiley's Presidential portrait