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Reflecting on a Dazzling Evening: Tilbury Docks Illuminated at Light Up Thurrock

Tilbury Docks recently played host to a spectacular light festival event that left an indelible mark on the community. As part of the Light Up Thurrock festival (one of the city centre Winter light festivals), the Windrush sculpture, brought to life by the talented Arc Sound Audio team, took center stage, casting a mesmerising glow over Tilbury Bridge and captivating all who attended. Let’s revisit the enchanting evening that unfolded at Tilbury Docks, celebrating art, history, and the enduring legacy of the Windrush Generation.

The Illumination:

Arc Sound Audio, known for their expertise in event production, successfully illuminated both Tilbury Bridge and the HMT Empire Windrush Sculpture with the light installations. Titled “Life We Hold: A Tribute to Black Britain

Light Up Thurrock by Arts Outburst:

Brought to us by Arts Outburst, Light Up Thurrock has become a series of free for events and trail for visitors, weaving light and culture into the fabric of Thurrock throughout the winter months in unexpected locations. This particular evening was a testament to the power of communal celebration and the arts.

The Fusion of Light and Art:

During the event, visitors see the Windrush sculpture bathed in a radiant glow, showcasing the exquisite details of its steel wire construction. The interplay of light and shadow on the installations enhanced the sculpture’s depth, creating and providing viewers with a visually stunning experience that underscored the storytelling embedded in the artwork

Light possesses the transformative ability to breathe life into artwork and sculptures, transcending them from mere static objects to dynamic, evocative pieces. When carefully orchestrated, the interplay of light and shadow can accentuate the intricacies and details of a piece, unveiling hidden dimensions and inviting viewers into a deeper connection with the artwork. The technology and strategic use of light can highlight specific features, evoke mood, and create a mesmerising visual experience. Whether through the soft glow that delicately grazes a sculpture’s surface or the dramatic shadows and lights that carve out its contours, light becomes an integral part of the narrative. In this symbiotic relationship, the artwork, bathed in light, communicates a story that evolves with the changing intensity and direction of illumination. Such an interaction between light and art transcends the visual, engaging emotions and fostering contemplation. Ultimately, the dynamic dance of light on sculptures and installations not only enhances their aesthetic appeal but also serves as a conduit for conveying deeper meanings, inviting viewers to explore the layers of significance embedded within the artwork.

The Windrush Sculpture:

“Life We Hold: A Tribute to Black Britain”: Standing proudly at nearly 12 feet tall and weighing 600kg, the Windrush sculpture stands as a testament to the historical significance of the HMT Empire Windrush. The installation which was crafted over six weeks, serves not only as a sculpture but as a poignant tribute to unity, resilience, and the lasting legacy of the Windrush Generation.

Inspiration behind the installation

The creation of the Windrush installation stands as a poignant tribute to the indomitable spirit and significant contributions of the Windrush Generation. Crafted in memory of those who embarked on the historic journey aboard the HMT Empire Windrush, which disembarked at Tilbury docks on its way to London, this remarkable sculpture is a testament to unity, resilience, and the enduring legacy of a generation that played a pivotal role in shaping the cultural fabric of the United Kingdom. Initiated as part of the 75th anniversary commemorations of the Windrush, the sculpture holds even greater significance, serving as a tangible symbol of remembrance for a pivotal moment in history.

Crucially, the realisation of this monumental project, installations and festival was made possible through the generous support of National Lottery: Good Causes. Donations from the National Lottery empowered the visionaries behind the sculpture, providing the necessary resources to bring it to life. This collaboration exemplifies the collective effort to honor and immortalise the stories of the Windrush Generation and their family

Timely in its conception, the Windrush sculpture also emerged as a tribute during Black History Month, further underscoring the importance of recognising and celebrating the profound impact of Black individuals on the tapestry of British society through the power of art and installations. As the nation reflects on the historical journey of the Windrush Generation, the installation stands as a beacon of remembrance, education, and acknowledgment of the diverse voices that have shaped the cultural landscape. Through its creation, the Windrush sculpture not only marks a specific historical milestone but also contributes to an ongoing dialogue about unity, diversity, and the need to preserve and share the stories that have shaped our collective identity.

Jade Pearl’s Portraits

Jade Pearl’s mural portrait designs, seamlessly integrated into the boat sculpture installations, added a personal touch, honoring influential Black figures who have left an indelible mark on British society. These portraits contributed to the overall narrative, celebrating the diversity and richness of Black history in the United Kingdom. The colour and nature of the portraits were inspired by the space and to celebrate the movement.

A Beacon of Unity and Diversity:

The illuminated Windrush installation has became a beacon, symbolising unity, diversity, and the continued recognition of the outstanding contributions made by Black individuals to the United Kingdom. The event, now a cherished memory, served as a celebration of shared history and a testament to the ongoing vibrancy of the Windrush Generation’s cultural contributions.

As we reflect on the evening that unfolded at Tilbury Docks, we carry with us the warmth of community spirit and the richness of our shared history. The Light Up Thurrock event, with the illuminated Windrush sculpture at its core, will be remembered as a vibrant celebration of unity, diversity, and the enduring legacy of the Windrush Generation.