Hackney's Windrush Artwork Commission plans to reveal Windrush Art Commission

Veronica Ryan and Thomas J Price June 2021


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
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." 
Cllr Carole Williams, Cabinet Member for Employment, Skills and Human Resources
Image courtesy of Veronica Ryan and Pangolin Editions

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 scanning - Credit Wayne Crichlow_ @chasingthelight_67

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.

  • Notes for editors 

Image credits -  Thomas J Price's Scanning image - Wayne Crichlow - @ChasingTheLight_67 

Veronica Ryan - Image courtesy of Veronica Ryan and Pangolin Editions. Please request for use. 

Visit the new HackneyWindrush.com website and follow the new @HackneyWindrush Instagram account for updates

For more information on the Council’s commitments to the decriminalisation of Windrush migrants visit the Hackney council website. 

The Windrush Generation is the community of people from Commonwealth countries invited to rebuild Britain after WWII. 

About Create London

Create London is an arts organisation that has pioneered working with artists to realise new social enterprises, charities and cultural spaces. It commissions, curates and incubates long-term projects that are useful to society, supporting artists to work collaboratively with local communities. It reimagines the role of the artist in the city, working outside of galleries to find new and often surprising ways for art to become part of everyday life. Create London is an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation. createlondon.org

Freelands Foundation

Freelands Foundation was set up in 2015 to give more people the chance to engage with and enjoy the arts in the UK, with a particular focus on education. Their ambition is to give everyone access to art education in the belief that it raises their aspirations and transforms their opportunities in life. They have worked with more than 30 arts organisations across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to support artists and broaden their engagement in their communities.  freelandsfoundation.co.uk/ 

Henry Moore Foundation  

The Henry Moore Foundation was founded by the artist Henry Moore and his family in 1977 to encourage public appreciation of the visual arts. Today they support innovative sculpture projects, devise an imaginative programme of exhibitions and research worldwide, and preserve the legacy of Moore himself: one of the great sculptors of the 20th century, who did so much to bring the art form to a wider audience. henry-moore.org

Art Fund

Art Fund ensures museums across the UK are able to display great art for everyone to enjoy. Art Fund helps museums and galleries in a number of ways including providing museums and curators with funding for acquisitions and the display of art through tours and exhibitions; Promoting hundreds of UK museums and galleries through the National Art Pass and celebrating the very best museums and galleries in the country through the Art Fund Museum of the Year. Thanks to the broad community of Art Fund members and supporters, significant works of art can be seen by all.