A new public sculpture by Veronica Ryan OBE, honouring the Windrush Generation, has been unveiled in Hackney,

Saturday, 02 October 2021

Pictured: Veronica Ryan OBE, ‘Custard Apple (Annonaceae), Breadfruit (Moraceae), and Soursop (Annonaceae), 2021’ (detail). Courtesy the artist, Paula Cooper Gallery and Alison Jaques Gallery. Photo: Andy Keate, 2021

A new permanent public sculpture by celebrated artist Veronica Ryan OBE has been unveiled in east London. The series of three works – large marble and bronze sculptures, representing Caribbean fruit and vegetables – is situated near St. Augustine’s Tower, Hackney. The work references narratives of migration and movement and draws on the artist’s memories of visiting east London markets, including Hackney’s Ridley Road Market, as a child.

Ryan’s work, together with a new sculpture by artist Thomas J Price which will be unveiled on National Windrush Day in June 2022, is the first public artwork in the UK to celebrate and honour the Windrush Generation. 

Veronica Ryan OBE at the public unveiling of her works honouring the Windrush Generation

Ryan said: “With all the world crisis we are experiencing, this is a wonderful time to embrace positivity. Cultural visibility and representation evident in public spaces is crucial. I am very happy that my sculptures will be part of this recognition. Ridley Market here in Hackney remains a vibrant place of early excitement going shopping with my mother, I don’t often get along to the market now, but have been so happy to buy some lovely soursops and custard apples on recent visits. I like the fact that the community in Hackney will see some familiar fruit and vegetables represented in the sculptures, and always enjoy these connections.”

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. The accompanying public programme is supported by the Freelands Foundation.