Clear Channel UK this week announced a new collaboration to bring to life an Out of Home campaign featuring nine portraits of the Windrush Generation commissioned by His Majesty The King.
2023 sees the 75th anniversary of the HMT Empire Windrush arriving in Britain on 22 June 1948. The ship, which carried passengers from the Caribbean, has symbolic status, its voyage marking the start of the Windrush Generation settling in the UK.
To celebrate the anniversary, Clear Channel will be displaying the series of portraits on its digital screens around the UK, over the next two weeks.
Richard Bon, Managing Director and Executive Sponsor of the Culture Crew (ERG) at Clear Channel UK, told us “At Clear Channel, we aim to embrace and celebrate diverse cultures both within our business and in the communities in which we operate. This creative partnership will help to mark this key cultural moment in public spaces up and down the UK, informing the wider public of the history of Windrush and honouring the people who’ve been part of it.”
The sitters for the portraits were selected by the Windrush Portraits Committee, appointed by His Majesty and chaired by Baroness Floella Benjamin, OM DBE, along with Paulette Simpson, CBE, Bishop Rose Hudson-Wilkin, MBE and Rudolph Walker CBE.
The portraits, which are now part of the Royal Collection, were undertaken by Black artists personally selected by His Majesty. The sitters are all in their 80s and 90s, and the intention is to educate the younger generation about their stories and to acknowledge the tremendous impact the Windrush Generation has had on the United Kingdom.
Paulette Simpson CBE said “We proudly honour the Windrush Generation’s profound contributions and enduring legacy with this nationwide campaign. These 9 portraits, lovingly crafted by Black artists, serve as a powerful tribute to the extraordinary individuals who help shape our nation. As their portraits grace digital screens across the UK, we hope to educate and inspire future generations whilst celebrating the rich tapestry of cultures that define our society.”
The portraits will be on display at the Palace of Holyrood House from 22 June, Windrush Day, and will move to the National Portrait Gallery in October. A BBC documentary on the portraits also airs on Windrush Day. At a reception at Buckingham Palace on 14 June 2023, the portraits were unveiled by Their Majesties The King and Queen, in the presence of the sitters, their families, and the artists.