In commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the Empire Windrush’s arrival in Britain from the Caribbean, a remarkable series of ten new portraits is set to honour the Windrush generation.
Among the esteemed group of black artists personally selected by King Charles for this prestigious project is Ghanaian artist, Dr Serge Attukwei Clottey.
Known for his versatility across various mediums including installation, performance, photography, painting, and sculpture, Clottey was commissioned to create a captivating portrait of Laceta Reid, which will now become a part of the esteemed Royal Collection.
The portraits were unveiled for the first time on Thursday, June 22, 203, at the prestigious Edinburgh’s Royal Palace, where King Charles and Queen Consort Camila, the artists, sitters, and their families were in attendance to celebrate this significant occasion.
The exhibition, titled “Windrush: Portraits of a Pioneering Generation,” was commissioned by King Charles in 2022 as a tribute to the remarkable contributions made by these pioneering men and women to the United Kingdom.
Career Artist, Awo Tsegah who attended the event on the personal invitation of King Charles described the experience as ‘humbling’
“I was humbled to have been kindly invited by the @theroyalfamily for the unveiling of “Windrush: Potraits of a Pioneering Generation” by Their Majesties, together with the sitters, their families and artists,” she captioned a carousel of images on Instagram.
The Windrush: Portraits of a Pioneering Generation display will be an integral part of the visitor experience at the Palace of Holyroodhouse until mid-September.
Following this, the exhibition will make its way to the National Portrait Gallery in October, where it will be on display for approximately six months.
Serge Attukwei Clottey’s portrait of Laceta Reid, a remarkable individual with an inspiring story, stands as an attestation to the resilience and determination of the Windrush generation.
Reid, who arrived in Britain in 1957, settled in Newport, Wales, and spent most of his working life employed at Crompton Batteries. In his free time, he found joy in tending to his allotment and competing in dominoes tournaments across the country.
Clottey’s large, mostly monochromatic mixed-media portrait of Reid draws inspiration from African lifestyle photography, capturing the essence of a life well-lived and a contribution worth commemorating.
Clottey via Instagram also revealed that fans would also have the honour of watching a captivating BBC documentary which has been released, chronicling the creation of the extraordinary portrait.
The Windrush generation has played an integral role in shaping the cultural landscape of the United Kingdom. Their achievements in various fields, including arts, music, politics, and community development, have left an indelible mark on the nation.
King Charles in a speech during the event stated, “History is, thankfully and finally, beginning to accord a rightful place to those men and women of the Windrush Generation. The ten portraits of this series, together with the tributes to other members of that indomitable generation, are a small way to honour their remarkable legacy.”
Through this collection of portraits, their stories are given the recognition and respect they deserve, serving as a reminder of their enduring legacy.
As visitors behold these extraordinary portraits, they will not only witness the artistic brilliance of talents like Serge Attukwei Clottey but also gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for the invaluable contributions of the Windrush generation.