Following a comprehensive consultation with Hackney residents in 2020, Veronica Ryan OBE and Thomas J Price were commissioned to create two public artworks, serving as a permanent expression of solidarity with the Windrush Generation. The sculptures recognise the significant contribution the generation has made to life in Hackney and the UK and symbolise the ongoing commitment from the borough to provide refuge and welcome to worldwide migrants.
Thomas J Price’s ‘Warm Shores’ was unveiled outside Hackney Town Hall on Windrush Day, 22 June 2022. Price’s collaborative approach has been vital to the outcome. Last May, the artist issued an open call to Hackney residents, inviting over 30 members of the local community with a personal connection to Windrush to a studio in east London. Over the course of four days, the participants, ranging from 20 to 91 years old, were digitally photographed using a 3D scanning device, capturing their stature, stance, clothing, features and posture to inform the two final sculptures. Throughout his career, Price has drawn upon his own mixed heritage to investigate the complexities between personal and public perceptions of identity, representation and power structures.
The Hackney Windrush Art Commission is supported by Art Fund with additional funding from the Henry Moore Foundation. The public programme is supported by the Freelands Foundation.