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The Windrush Exhibition - The Harris - 28/10/18 - 25/11/18

The Windrush Exhibition - The Harris - 28/10/18 - 25/11/18 Creative Communities Group RSS Newsfeed for Creative Communities Group Online art gallery newsfeed

~Preston in the 1950’s had an abundance of immigrants in the form of Indian, Pakistan and West Indian people. But there was also a great intake of Afro- Caribbean people who were  part of a movement called ‘The Windrush Generation’.

The term ‘Windrush’ relates to the ship MV Empire Windrush. It arrived at Tilbury Docks, Essex on 22 June 1948, bringing workers from Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and other islands, as a response to post-war labour shortages in the UK. The ship carried 492 passengers - many of them children.

In an affectionate tribute to the lives that were saved and re-housed in Preston, Lancashire, ‘The Windrush Exhibition’ will provide an intimate look at what life was like for a traditional Afro- Caribbean family. You will see an intimate portrait into the lives that were affected including a glimpse into a 1960’s living room. In addition, a timeline will  document an historical account of both black British and Preston heritage with  oral history  recordings and a subsequent  film produced by Windrush Initiatives.

Founder Adrian Murrell reflects on the poignancy of the footage and it’s importance to the city,  “For this film we interviewed people ranging from the elders in our community who came here in the 1950s – to people like me who grew up in Preston as children 60s and 70s. It’s definitely a tough but honest look at what Preston was like if you are black. It’s great to see this film and the exhibition at the Harris Museum and Art Gallery.”

Also on display are six paintings by city artist Anita George. Her parents came to Preston from Domenica in the 1950s and she grew up here. Anita’s series is called Breakthrough and they are modelled on the 1980s Rubik’s cube and include the 54 portraits of black British artists that broke into the arts scene in the 1980s.

Here is an overview of the events featured as part of Windrush:-

  • Creative Writing: Starting your Windrush Story
  • Saturday 10 November and Saturday 24 November
  • 1.30-3.30pmBring along family photos and mementos to this two-part session with  writer Marjorie Morgan. Free but booking required
  • BSL Exhibition Tour
  • Wednesday 14 November
  • 6pmFeaturing all 3 autumn exhibitions and new job opportunity discussions. Refreshments provided. For people with hearing impairment but all welcome.
  • Windrush Painting Workshop
  • Saturday 17 November
  • 1pm to 4pm
  • Local artist Anita George :- painting workshop:- using organic materials including seeds, spices and flowers to create canvases inspired by the Caribbean Islands. Free but booking required.
  • Windrush Family Sunday: Music, Food and Fun
  • Sunday 18 November
  • 12 – 2pm
  • All generations are welcome for an afternoon of family QT. DJ Isa Cole will play music, there’ll be food tasting and lots of family fun. Free, drop in.
  • Audio-Described Exhibition Tour
  • Wednesday 21 November
  • 1pm meet café
  • Featuring all 3 of the  autumn exhibitions – including Preston Windrush’s Generation. Refreshments provided. For people with visual impairments but all welcome.

So where are the original ‘Windrush Generation?’
Many of the arrivals became manual workers, cleaners, drivers and nurses - and some broke new ground in representing black Britons in society. The Jamaican-British campaigner Sam Beaver King, who died in 2016 aged 90, arrived at Tilbury Docks in his 20s before finding work as a postman. He later became the first black Mayor of Southwark in London. The Labour MP David Lammy, whose parents arrived in the UK from Guyana, describes himself as a "proud son of the Windrush".

Preston has a well-established Caribbean community and one of the UK’s longest-running annual carnivals. Now in 2018, nearly 70 years after the Windrush Generation was conceived Preston’s Harris Museum and Art Gallery will be the exhibition’s home till the end of November.

Cabinet member for culture and leisure at Preston City Council councillor Peter Kelly said expressed these words of joy  in response to the Harris staging  Windrush  events here,  in the North West of England,

“I’m delighted that the story of Preston’s Windrush generation is being celebrated at the Harris. I’ve enjoyed attending the Windrush Festival myself over the years – and to see such a great programme of events linked to this exhibition here in the city centre is wonderful.”

The exhibition is free to attend and on until Sunday 25 November