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Artists in Conversation

1 February 2023

Artists Michael Elliott and Mary Evans talked about their aspirations for Windrush Portraits.

Join artists Michael Elliott and Mary Evans as they talk about their aspirations for a new and exciting project, Windrush Portraits: Public Art Exhibition for Black History Month.

UK 18.00 GMT / Jamaica 13.00 EST

Windrush Portraits is a transatlantic artistic collaboration with communities in both Kingston, Jamaica and Southampton, UK. During February 2023, artists Michael Elliott (based in Jamaica) and Mary Evans (based in UK) will present iconic artworks that highlight the legacy of the Windrush generation and migration on digital billboards across the island of Jamaica.

Meaningful new work by Elliot and Evans, informed through conversations with Caribbean communities in Kingston, Jamaica and Southampton, UK and developed through an artist exchange, will subsequently be presented on billboards across Southampton, UK in October 2023.

Kingston Creative, Jamaica is partnering with UK organisations John Hansard Gallery, Black History Month South, and Southampton Black Archives to celebrate and commemorate the Windrush Generation and give voice to the subsequent Windrush scandal.

This artistic undertaking endeavours to celebrate the individuals, highlight the injustices, and commemorate the important contribution of the Windrush Generation to the UK’s recovery in the post-war period.

Windrush Portraits has been developed in partnership with Kingston Creative, Jamaica and has been supported by iPrint, Jamaica and Rok Hotel Kingston, Jamaica. Windrush Portraits is part of the programme Co-Creating Public Space, led by John Hansard Gallery, part of the University of Southampton, with support from Arts Council England, Southampton City Council , GO! Southampton.

Michael Elliott (b. 1979, Manchester, Jamaica) studied at The Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts in Kingston, Jamaica. Social commentary is at the core of Elliott's paintings, particularly the political climate in Jamaica, social justice, domestic issues, race, migration and even the Covid-19 pandemic. Recent exhibitions include: Green Space, Miami, Florida, USA (2022), Corcoran School of Art, Washington D.C. (2019), The Cage Gallery, Kingston, Jamaica (2018), Gallery Décor VIII, Jamaica (2017), Jamaica Biennial, National Gallery of Jamaica (2002–2017), Bacoli, Naples, Italy (2021), Gallery of Art, Stuttgart, Germany (2012).

Mary Evans (b. 1963, Lagos, Nigeria. Lives and works in London, UK) studied at Goldsmiths and the Rijksakademie and has been a recipient of the Arts and Literary Arts Residency at the Rockefeller Foundation and the Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship, Washington DC, USA. Recent and forthcoming exhibitions include: Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art, Cape Town, South Africa (2023), John Hansard Gallery, Southampton, UK (2021), La Banque, France (2020), the 11th Mercosul Visual Arts Biennial, Brazil (2018), EVA - Ireland’s Biennial (2016), Southbank Centre, London (2014), Blaffer Art Museum, Houston (2013), University of Massachusetts (2013, Baltimore Museum of Art (2008).



John Hansard Gallery

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