Windrush artworks by Thomas J Price welcomed to Town Hall Square in showcase event on National Windrush Day
Hackney residents are invited to attend a free event outside Hackney Town Hall from 5-7pm on National Windrush Day, Wednesday 22 June, to celebrate the unveiling of two permanent public sculptures by artist Thomas J Price in honour of the Windrush generation.
Hosted by actor, comedian, TV and radio presenter, Eddie Nestor MBE, spectators can enjoy performances from a range of acts including award-winning poets Mr Gee and Raymond Antrobus, a Reggae Choir, Morningside Youth Steel Pan Band and Kingsmead Dynamics Drumming and Dance Group.
The event will include speeches from Hackney’s Windrush lead Cllr Williams and Mayor Philip Glanville, and information on how to access Windrush Compensation.
The artworks complete the Council’s Hackney Windrush Artwork Commission, established in partnership with Create London in 2019, with support from Art Fund, which in October 2021 saw the unveiling of the UK's first permanent public sculptures honouring the Windrush generation, by artist Veronica Ryan OBE.
I look forward to welcoming residents on National Windrush Day to witness the historic unveiling of Thomas J Price's powerful sculptures, a project in which I was honoured to personally play a part. The artworks represent a celebration of the legacy and cultural influence of the Windrush generation, and will undoubtedly remain a symbol of respect to Hackney’s Windrush community for generations to come.
This year Hackney Council is asking everyone in the borough: ‘What will you do for Windrush?’ and calling on residents to get more actively involved in celebrating and supporting the Windrush generation with suggested ideas in an online activity pack.
In addition to the artworks by Thomas J Price, National Windrush Day will see the government-commissioned National Windrush Monument by artist Basil Watson open to the public at London Waterloo station.
A print run of 5000 zines titled Selfies & Stories will also be distributed across the borough. The zine uses text and images from an intergenerational photography and poetry residency held at Clr James Library last year, that was run in collaboration with Autograph and The Real Selfie Project, with workshop facilitation from Adisa the Verbalizer.
What will you do for Windrush? activity pack is available here: https://www.lovehackney.uk/windrush-generations-festival
For more information follow @HackneyWindrush on Instagram or visit hackneywindrush.com
National Windrush Day
Although Windrush Day has been celebrated in the Caribbean community for years, National Windrush Day was introduced in the UK in June 2018 on the 70th anniversary of the Windrush migration. The day marks the arrival of African-Caribbean immigrants to the shores of Britain and honours the British Caribbean community. An estimated half a million people made their way to England after the Second World War.
Hackney Windrush Art Commission
The announcement was made on National Windrush Day 2020 following an extensive consultation process which began in 2018. The final decision to select Thomas J Price and Veronica Ryan to make two separate pieces of work was made by a panel including Hackney residents, Windrush campaigners, artists, architects and local councillors including Cllr Carole Williams – Hackney’s appointed Cabinet lead for Windrush. The panel was chaired by Mark Sealy, director of Hackney-based gallery Autograph ABP, with approval from Mayor Phillip Glanville.
The Hackney Windrush Art Commission is commissioned by Hackney Council and produced and curated by Create London. It is funded by the Art Fund, with additional support from the Henry Moore Foundation. The accompanying extensive public programme is kindly supported by the Freelands Foundation.
Thomas J Price
Thomas J Price was born in South London (1981). He received his BA in Fine Art Sculpture at Chelsea College of Art (2001-2004) and completed his MA in Sculpture from the Royal College of Art in (2004-2006.) Prices practice spans sculpture, photography, film and animation. Price has held solo exhibitions at prestigious institutions including The Power Plant, Toronto, Canada; The National Portrait Gallery, London, UK; and the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, West Bretton, UK. Price’s sculpture ‘The Distance Within’ is currently on view in Marcus Garvey Park, New York, until October 2022 as part of ‘Witness’; a commissioned project with Studio Museum Harlem. In 2021 he joined the international gallery Hauser and Wirth. Price lives and works in 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. https://createlondon.org/
In 2018, Hackney was the first UK council to pass a comprehensive Motion regarding the Windrush generation. Alongside lobbying for justice for those affected by the Windrush Scandal, honouring the Windrush community is key to the borough’s commitments. Hackney Council’s Windrush Engagement Program supports the borough’s ongoing pledge to honor the valuable contributions of the Windrush generation. https://hackney.gov.uk/windrush
Art Fund is the national fundraising charity for art. It provides millions of pounds every year to help museums to acquire and share works of art across the UK, further the professional development of their curators, and inspire more people to visit and enjoy their public programmes. Art Fund is independently funded, supported by the 130,000 members who buy the National Art Pass, who enjoy free entry to over 240 museums, galleries and historic places, 50% off major exhibitions, and receive Art Quarterly magazine. Art Fund also supports museums through its annual prize, Art Fund Museum of the Year. www.artfund.org
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. https://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. https://www.henry-moore.org/