Hackney Is Getting New Public Artworks In Celebration Of The Windrush Generation

By Maire Rose Connor Last edited 46 months ago

Last Updated 21 July 2020

Hackney Is Getting New Public Artworks In Celebration Of The Windrush Generation
Thomas J Price: one of two artists commissioned by Hackney Council to create their new public artworks. Image: Thomas J Price via hackney.gov.uk.

Hackney Council has announced plans for two new permanent public artworks in the borough — the first in the UK to honour the contributions of the Windrush Generation. Created by Thomas J Price and Veronica Ryan, respectively, the two installations will be unveiled at two different Hackney locations in 2021.

The news comes on the heels of the council's pledge to review the role of statues and the naming of landmarks, so as to ensure that Hackney's public spaces reflect both the borough's diversity and its historical significance as a site of resistance against racial injustice.

Thomas J. Price — whose own grandmother emigrated to the UK from Jamaica to work as a nurse — will create a larger-than-life bronze sculpture representing people from the African Caribbean diaspora for display outside Hackney Town Hall. He describes Hackney as a place "close to his heart", and hopes his artwork "will challenge social perceptions and receive engagement from audiences that are often left out of traditional gallery environments.”

Price has previously exhibited at the likes of the National Portrait Gallery and the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Visit his Instagram page to see how his thought-provoking work engages with ideas of representation and perception.

'A pivotal moment for transformation.' Image: Veronica Ryan via hackney.gov.uk.

Elsewhere in the borough, Veronica Ryan will present a series of large marble and bronze sculptures representing Caribbean fruit and vegetables.

“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.

- Veronica Ryan

The award-winning artist — whose work encompasses everything from environmental and sociopolitical concerns to personal narratives and beyond to consider wider psychological implications of history, trauma — called the project "timely", taking place during a "pivotal moment for transformation [and] positive representations of cultural diversity".

There's no word yet on exactly when in 2021 the sculptures will be unveiled, but you can keep tabs on Hackney Council's activity in support of Windrush generation here.