Hackney Windrush Art Commission – new details announced

Friday, 11 June 2021

We’re excited to reveal details for the planned unveiling of new public sculptures by Veronica Ryan and Thomas J Price celebrating the Windrush Generation, alongside a major supporting public programme. New permanent public sculptures by celebrated artists Veronica Ryan and Thomas J Price will be unveiled in Hackney, east London, on 1 October 2021 and 22 June 2022 respectively.

Veronica Ryan’s series of large marble and bronze sculptures, representing Caribbean fruit and vegetables, will be unveiled on 1 October 2021, near St. Augustine’s Tower in Hackney. Ryan’s work references narratives of migration and movement and draws on the artist’s memories of visiting east London markets as a child.

Veronica Ryan at Spike Island. Image: Lisa Whiting

Thomas J Price’s artwork, sited in front of Hackney Town Hall, will be unveiled on National Windrush Day, 22 June 2022. Using photo archives, observations and digital 3D scans of Hackney residents, Price will create a large-scale bronze sculpture. This larger-than-life physical representation of people from the African Caribbean diaspora will be a bold celebration of the legacy and cultural influence of the Windrush Generation, while also seeking to address the disproportionate lack of statues representing black people in the UK.

Supporting these two works will be a major new public programme of creative commissions and community engagement. A new website, hackneywindrush.com, designed by east London-based design agency Regular Practice and created by Hackney-based creative agency Blanguage – will launch on Windrush Day, 22 June 2021.

Halina Edwards, Flags About Home

The wider public programme will also launch on Windrush Day, with the unveiling of a new artwork at Vogue Fabrics Dalston (VFD) by artist Halina Edwards, and the gifting of a limited-edition tea towel by London-based fashion designer Martine Rose to Hackney’s Windrush Generation. Titled Flags About Home, Halina Edwards’ work celebrates the idea of home, and shows Hackney as a safe space for the creative and migrant community – namely, the Windrush Generation.

Martine Rose’s limited-edition tea towel pays homage to traditional Afro-Caribbean kitchen-alia and feature a popular ackee and saltfish recipe. The tea towels will be gifted to the members of the Windrush Generation, collaborators on the project, and the wider Hackney community.

In autumn 2021, Create London will collaborate on a series of community engagement workshops with partners including Autograph ABP Gallery; and an Early Years Resource, created by Laura Henry-Allain.

Ridley Road 2021 image @futurehackney

In September, Future Hackney – an artist-led collective who document social change in east London – will unveil a free exhibition of large format images in Hackney, focused on the Caribbean and African communities living in and around Ridley Road, an area of east London which was an inspiration for Veronica Ryan’s sculptures. A dynamic symposium will be held in October 2021.

This project is produced and curated by Create London in partnership withHackney Council and supported by Freelands Foundation. The Hackney Windrush Art Commission is supported by Art Fund with additional funding fro the Henry Moore Foundation. The public programme is supported by the Freelands Foundation.