Launch event for Windrush Sculpture: “Life We Hold: A Tribute to Black Britain”,
31 Oct 2023
The latest Lazerian sculpture was unveiled early on Monday 30th October at an exclusive launch event on Tilbury Docks. With a huge amount of significance and poignancy the meaning behind the piece was heavily influenced by the culture and history involved.
The sculpture which is a replica of HMT Empire Windrush was officially revealed at a morning ceremony which was attended by several of the beneficiaries of the National Lottery funds who are individuals who have done incredible things to celebrate the Windrush generation and its impact on their communities
The event was hosted by TV personality Scarlette Douglas, at Tilbury Docks – the port where the ship first docked in 1948, 75 years ago. Scarlette was in attendance with her father both of whom have personal links with the Windrush generation.
"The impact and contribution the Windrush generation has had in Britain since they first arrived in 1948 has been phenomenal, and it’s vital that we recognise and honour the achievements of their legacy. As we celebrate the 75th anniversary of Windrush, the importance of funding for our vibrant community groups, like that provided by The National Lottery, has never been greater. These organisations are the backbone of so many communities, preserving our heritage & culture, and providing support to the Windrush Generation and its descendants.” Scarlette Douglas
These 5 individuals and the organisations they represent were also featured as part of the abstract portraits by Jade Pearl, which were then merged with the large-scale wire frame boat sculpture designed and created by Lazerian.
The projects featured in the installation within the portraits include FAM Fest, the Thelma Matilda Alves Foundation, MENFA, Feed My Creative CIC, and Show Racism the Red Card; portraits of pivotal individuals from each group feature on the sculpture, representing the incredible things they’ve achieved within their communities – from providing support for the mental wellbeing of women from the Windrush generation; celebrating the music and food originating from this community; to mentoring and education within schools, and strengthening bonds between generations.
The structure stands nearly 12ft in height and took more than 6 weeks to build, made entirely from steel wire, and weighs 600kg. It was created in the Lazerian workshop and transported to Tilbury from Manchester.
Titled, “Life We Hold: A Tribute to Black Britain”, the installation seeks to honour the historical significance of the HMT Empire Windrush and celebrates the remarkable contributions of black individuals to the rich tapestry of British society, from the arts and food to sport and education. The sculpture aims to be a thought-provoking tribute that engages viewers in a dialogue about unity, resilience, and the indelible legacy of the Windrush generation.
The event was also attended by the artists, as well as proud family members and friends of the beneficiaries. Several members of the media were in attendance due to the cultural and historical significance of the event and the artwork itself.