Ten portraits of sitters from the Windrush Generation will go on display from today at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh, marking National Windrush Day.

Ten artists were commissioned by King Charles to create the portraits, which form an exhibition entitled ‘Windrush: Portraits of a Pioneering Generation’.

The portraits will be on display from today, 22 June 2023, until 16 October 2023. Afterward the portraits will go on display at the National Portrait Gallery from October 2023 for approximately six months.

The opening of the exhibition marks the 75th anniversary of the arrival of the HMT Empire Windrush to British shores in 1948.

King Charles said: “It is, I believe, crucially important that we should truly see and hear these pioneers who stepped off the Empire Windrush at Tilbury in June 1948 – only a few months before I was born – and those who followed over the decades, to recognise and celebrate the immeasurable difference that they, their children and their grandchildren have made to this country.”

The sitters were chosen by The Windrush Portraits Committee, a sub-committee of the Windrush Commemoration Committee, comprising Baroness Floella Benjamin, the Right Reverend Rose Hudson-Wilkin, Mr Rudolph Walker and Ms Paulette Simpson.

The sitters and artists are:

  • Delisser Bernard painted by Honor Titus
  • Alford Gardner painted by Chloe Cox
  • Linda Haye painted by Shannon Bono
  • Edna Henry painted by Amy Sherald
  • Carmen Munroe painted by Sonia Boyce
  • Gilda Oliver painted by Clifton Powell
  • Sir Geoff Palmer painted by Derek Fordjour
  • Laceta Reid painted by Serge Attukwei Clottey
  • ‘Big’ John Richards painted by Deanio X
  • Jessie Stephens painted by Sahara Longe

The portraits will become part of the Royal Collection.

BBC Arts will today release ‘Windrush: Portraits of a Generation’, a 75-minute documentary about the project, which follows the making of the portraits and first-hand testimony from the Windrush sitters about their experiences of arriving in Britain.

The Royal Collection Trust, Royal Drawing School and The Open University are collaborating to design an education programme to celebrate the contribution of the Windrush Generation, including downloadable teaching resources for schools and live drawing workshops.

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