Home Arts Windrush 75th anniversary marked by series of royal art commissions, including portraits of Sonia Boyce and Amy Sherald

Windrush 75th anniversary marked by series of royal art commissions, including portraits of Sonia Boyce and Amy Sherald

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A series of portraits of artists including Amy Sherald and Sonia Boyce will mark the 75th anniversary of the arrival of HMT Empire Windrush in Britain on June 22, 1948 in an exhibition at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburghh (until mid-October). The ten portraits, commissioned by the Royal Collection, will also be exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery in London before traveling to the Queen’s Gallery at Buckingham Palace (November 10-April 14, 2024).

The Royal Collection said in a statement: “In a context of political change as the country emerged from the ravages of the Second World War, these [Windrush generation] men and women have worked in construction, NHS and railway jobs, often facing discrimination as they navigate a new country and pursue their dreams of a better life for their families.

Portrait of Carmen Munroe by Sonia Boyce

© Sonia Boyce. All rights reserved, DACS 2023.
Photograph: Royal Collection Trust/© His Majesty King Charles III 2023

Sherald painted Edna Henry, a key member of the Pentecostal Church community in Cardiff, while Boyce portrayed actress Carmen Munroe who co-founded the Black Theater Company. Talawa.

Other participating artists include Brooklyn-born Honor Titus and London-based Sahara Longe (both represented by Timothy Taylor Gallery). Titus painted a portrait of Delisser Bernard, the founder of a Wolverhampton youth charity, while Longe portrayed Jessie Stephens, a London community leader and founding member of the Police Liaison Committee.

At Zinzi Minott Untitled 1 (Family portrait)

Other UK arts organizations and galleries also commemorate Windrush’s anniversary. At Queercircle in GreenwichLondon, filmmaker and artist Zinzi Minott presents the sixth iteration of her long-running film series fi dem (“for them” in patois), produced each year on the occasion of the anniversary of the Empire Windrush’s docking (until August 27).

The artwork was first created in response to the 2018 Windrush scandal when the UK government apologized for deportation threats made to Windrush migrants. “The Windrush scandal began to surface in 2017 after it emerged that hundreds of Commonwealth citizens, many of whom were of the ‘Windrush’ generation, had been wrongfully detained, deported and deprived of their legal rights,” said the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants. .

Victoria and Albert’s floor plan Between two worlds display

Courtesy V&A

At the Victoria and Albert Museum, a season of exhibitions, talks, workshops and events marks Windrush’s anniversary, “exploring the impact of the Caribbean presence on art, design and culture in Great Britain. -Brittany”, a statement syas. display Between two worlds: Vanley Burke and Francis Williams compares a portrait of Burke, dubbed the “Godfather of Black British Photography”, with an 18th-century depiction of the Jamaican writer Williams, sparking debate on issues such as colonialism and racism.

Meanwhile, digital art platform Circa, in collaboration with Black Cultural Archives, will show a series of images submitted by “an audience connected to the Windrush generation” at Piccadilly Circus in central London (8 p.m.), featuring a montage of memories and snapshots.

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