Thomas J Price’s larger-than-life Windrush sculpture is unveiled in Hackney

‘Warm Shores’ celebrates the legacy of the Windrush generation

The towering, 9-ft-tall bronze figures of a man and woman have been revealed outside Hackney Town Hall in London to commemorate the contributions of the Windrush generation – a supersized tribute by Thomas J Price.

Entitled Warm Shores, the sculpture launched on 22 June, the UK’s National Windrush Day, marking the anniversary of the arrival of MV Empire Windrush at the Port of Tilbury, near London in 1948.

Speaking of the artwork, Price said: ‘It’s not a monument, it’s a celebration.’

Price is best known for his larger-than-life figures representing Black everymen and everywomen. For Warm Shores, he used composites of 3D photographic scans of 30 local residents (aged from 20 to 91) related to the Windrush generation to create the figures.

Thomas J Price, ‘Warm Shores’ 2022, outside Hackney Town Hall. Photography: Damian Griffiths

The pair are embedded directly into the streetscape rather than raised on a plinth – a conscious decision Price made that rejects notions of hierarchy and celebrates the roots that the Windrush generation put down in the Borough of Hackney.

Warm Shores follows in the footsteps of Veronica Ryan’s October 2021 installation and marks the completion of the Hackney Windrush Art Commission. However, many affected by the Windrush scandal are still fighting for compensation.

The Windrush Scandal first broke in April 2018, when it was revealed that persons who came to the UK between 1948 and 1971 from Caribbean countries at the invitation of the UK government were wrongly classified as illegal immigrants and threatened with deportation.

Veronica Ryan, 'Custard Apple (Annonaceae), Breadfruit (Moraceae) and Soursop (Annonaceae)', 2021. Courtesy the artist. Photography: Andy Keate
Veronica Ryan, ‘Custard Apple (Annonaceae), Breadfruit (Moraceae) and Soursop (Annonaceae)’, 2021. Courtesy of the artist. Photography: Andy Keate

Across the city at Waterloo station, sculptor Basil Watson also unveiled his government-backed Windrush monument, depicting three figures – a man, woman and child all dressed in their ‘Sunday best’ – atop a mountain of suitcases.

Fans of Price’s work can also visit Reaching Out, which is part of The Line sculpture trail, which runs between the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and The O2. It depicts a Black woman peering at her mobile phone and is one of just a few public sculptures of Black women in the UK.

Read more about the Windrush generation and their impact on Hackney.


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