A stunning new artwork greets you as you descend the stairs at Brixton Underground station.
Remain, Thriving — by Nigerian-born Akunyili Crosby — depicts an imagined informal gathering
of grandchildren and great grandchildren of the Windrush generation in a fictional Brixton home. It's inspired by the local murals of the 1980s.
As part of her research, Crosby — who lives in LA — spent time in the Brixton area speaking to longstanding members of the local community as well as public historian Kelly Foster, the Black Cultural Archives, and the Lambeth Archives.
Says the artist:
For me, this work is for people who grew up in Brixton. I want the past to have a place in the present in this work: the work is very much about the present but the past is so alive in it. I thought a lot about how you engage the space, how you engage people who might already know my work as well as people who have no idea as to why they're looking at this living room scene as they enter Brixton station.
I wanted the piece to be somewhat calming and quiet because it would be located in a bustling station, but I still wanted it to have all of the multi-century layers and stories of Brixton visible. I am honoured to create an artwork for such a public venue and for the opportunity to reach a more diverse audience than I might have before.
The commission forms part of Art on the Underground’s 2018 programme of exclusively female artists, a part of #BehindEveryGreatCity.
All images © TfL