Following National Windrush Day (22 June) Hackney Council has revealed details for the forthcoming public sculptures honouring the Windrush Generation by artists Veronica Ryan and Thomas J Price.
The sculptures celebrating the Windrush generation will arrive in Hackney in October 2021 and June 2022 respectively and become the first permanent, public artworks in the UK to pay homage to the Windrush generation and their descendants.
Cllr Carole Williams, Cabinet Member for Employment, Skills and Human Resources with responsibility for the Council’s Windrush response said: "The artworks of Veronica Ryan and Thomas J Price will play a vital role in our ongoing efforts to honour our Windrush generation. Both pieces will act as a daily reminder, giving us all reason to pause and reflect on those contributions and the positive influence they still have today."
Veronica Ryan’s series of large marble and bronze sculptures, representing Caribbean fruit and vegetables - inspired by her childhood visits to Ridley Road Market - will be placed by St. Augustine’s Tower in October 2021 to mark Black History Season.
Ryan said: “The movement of fruit and vegetables across the globe historically exemplifies the way people have been part of that movement. Many fruit and vegetables have their origins in Asia, and Africa. The perception of origins and belonging to specific places is an extended part of the conversation.” She added that the sculptures will provide people with “a sense of visibility, connectedness, belonging, and an ownership of history that is not taught in school.
Thomas J Price’s artwork will follow in June 2022 and be placed in Hackney Town Hall Square. Using photo archives from Hackney Museum, Hackney Archives, and 3D scans of Hackney Windrush residents and descendents, Thomas will create a large scale bronze sculpture, a physical representation of individual people from the African Caribbean diaspora.
Price said: “This is an amazing opportunity to show how people connected to Windrush are part of the very fabric of this country. I feel honoured to be part of this celebration of its legacy, especially as my Jamaican grandmother came over as a nurse. I am very excited to work with the people of Hackney on this project, and it’s my hope that this piece will challenge social perceptions and receive engagement from audiences that are often left out of traditional gallery environments.”
The artworks are commissioned by Hackney Council and produced and curated by Create London. The Hackney Windrush Art Commission is made possible with Art Fund support, with additional funding from the Henry Moore Foundation.
Source: Hackney.gov website, 23 June 2021