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Windrush artwork

We are seeking to commission a major new public artwork to celebrate and honour Hackney’s Windrush Generation.  Sited in Hackney Town Hall Square, it will act as a permanent expression of the Windrush Generation’s contribution to the life of Hackney and the UK, and symbolise the ongoing commitment from the borough to provide refuge and welcome to migrants from all countries.

The Council, with the support of Autograph ABP, the Genesis Foundation and Create London, have invited a selection of artists of national significance and with African-Caribbean heritage, to put forward proposals for a permanent public artwork.

We’re now inviting residents to tell us what you think about the final 3 proposals. This can be what you like or dislike about any of the proposals, which you would prefer to see and why. Email your comments to:

Proposal #1

Hew Locke and Indra Khanna propose a maritime scheme of nine floor plaques and two wall plaques, all cast in bronze.

The artists’ proposal includes a 5 metre cast bronze depiction of the Empire Windrush, set into the paving of the Town Hall Square along with other bronze ships and wall plaques.

These ships symbolise the many journeys people have taken to reach their ‘harbour’ in Hackney. The Ship is an almost universal symbol of not only our physical track across the planet, but our societal and spiritual journey through life.

A 5 metre cast bronze depiction of the Empire Windrush

Hew Locke (born 1959) lived in Guyana from 1966 to 1980 and is now based in London.

He is a sculptor and artist who explores the languages of colonial and post-colonial power, how different cultures fashion their identities through visual symbols of authority, and how these representations are altered by the passage of time.

Indra Khanna is an artist and curator originally trained as a Fine Art Printmaker at Cardiff and Chelsea, and was a practising artist, community artist and art teacher for 15 years before moving into curating.

She has been an active member of grass roots artist groups such as the Association of Artists and Designers in Wales, Women’s Work and Brixton Artists Collective.

Indra Khanna and Hew Locke

Proposal #2

Thomas J Price proposes three large-scale figurative sculptures depicting people with connections to the Windrush generation.

With this proposal, the artist would use photo archives, observations and computer modelled 3D scans of Hackney residents to create up to three amalgam sculpted full-figure characters in bronze.

These larger than life physical representations would be a celebration of the legacy and cultural impact of the Windrush generation.

One of the proposed sculptures depicting a person connected to the Windrush generation

Thomas J Price (born 1981) lives and works in London, and was born and raised to an English mother and Jamaican father.

His work explores notions of social status and the way in which empathy can be affected by archetypes created, and reinforced, by the societies we live in. He creates work of a figurative nature that appear in widely accessible locations.

Thomas J Price

Proposal #3

Veronica Ryan proposes a series of marble and bronze sculptures depicting the fruits and vegetables of the Caribbean, some of which have their origins in other parts of the world including China and India.

The large-scale sculptures, placed across the town hall square, are a symbol of both the Caribbean and of global migration and would be made from bronze and marble.

An example of a sculpture depicting fruits / vegetables of the Caribbean

Veronica Ryan (born 1956) is a Montserrat-born British sculptor who divides her time between the UK and New York. Some of the works she is known for often incorporate organic forms such as large seed pods and fruit.

Part of her practice has included exploration of the cultural dynamics and psychological impact of place and migration, which she has experienced directly in her own life, having moved from the Caribbean island of Montserrat to Britain aged 2.

Veronica Ryan
Page updated on: 3 December 2019