Situated on Narrow Way in Hackney Central, Veronica Ryan’s ‘Custard Apple (Annonaceae), Breadfruit (Moraceae) and Soursop (Annonaceae)’ is the first permanent public sculpture by a black female artist in the UK. The three-piece, marble and bronze work serves as a tactile intervention at the heart of community life in the borough. Speaking of her inspiration, Veronica Ryan said: “I have memories of going to Ridley Road Market with my mother as a child to buy fruit and vegetables, fabrics, and sewing materials. Little did I know, those early experiences would become essential material for my practice as an artist.”
Reflecting on the Hackney Windrush commission, and its place in the current discourse around public art and monuments, Ryan OBE said to The Guardian: “People are, rightly, questioning how things have been commemorated and the relevance of certain monuments. Part of addressing that is by having different kinds of work in public spaces.”
Ryan won the Turner Prize 2022 for her Hackney Windrush commission, as well as her exhibition ‘Along a Spectrum’ at Spike Island.
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.