Windrush: Portraits of a Pioneering Generation

Windrush: Portraits of a Pioneering Generation

25 May - 11 August 2024


RWA, Queen's Road, Bristol


From Free to £9.90


25 May - 11 August 2024


Entry into this exhibition also grants you entry into Rasheed Araeen:Conscious Forms and Valda Jackson: Miss Polly.

After opening in Edinburgh and touring to London, the exhibition Windrush: Portraits of a Pioneering Generation is coming to Bristol for the first time this summer at the RWA. 

This moving exhibition honours the accomplishments and legacy of the Windrush Generation, the name given to the men and women who arrived in Britain on HMT Empire Windrush in June 1948, and the generations who followed. On display are ten portraits of remarkable Caribbean-British individuals by ten leading artists, including Sonia Boyce MBE and Amy Sherald.

The faces and stories of these sitters are a powerful reminder of personal resilience, determination and the positive impact of diversity across Britain. The sitters and artists were selected in 2023 by a panel chaired by Baroness Floella Benjamin DBE and commissioned by His Majesty King Charles III to commemorate the 75th anniversary of HMT Empire Windrush's arrival in Britain.

In the foreword to the accompanying book, The King wrote: ‘It is, I believe, crucially important that we should truly see and hear these pioneers.’

The sitters and artists are: 

  • Delisser Bernard by artist Honor Titus 
  • Alford Gardner by artist Chloe Cox 
  • Linda Haye, OBE by artist Shannon Bono 
  • Edna Henry by artist Amy Sherald 
  • Carmen Esme Munroe, OBE by artist Sonia Boyce OBE, RA 
  • Gilda Oliver by artist Clifton Powell 
  • Professor Sir Godfrey (Geoff) Palmer, OBE, CD by artist Derek Fordjour 
  • Laceta Reid by artist Serge Attukwei Clottey 
  • John (Big John) Richards by artist Deanio X 
  • Jessie Stephens, MBE, SLPM by artist Sahara Longe 

Teaching Resources

Celebrate Windrush Day 22 June 2024 with a family festival at the RWA, with free art activities and exhibition entry included. 


Image: © Amy Sherald. Photograph: Royal Collection Trust. Edna Henry, 2023.

This exhibition has been made possible by the kind support of:



Sign up to our newsletter to keep up to date with RWA news


Rasheed Araeen: Conscious Forms

25 May - 11 August 2024

An exhibition celebrating the ground breaking work of influential Pakistani artist, curator, and activist Rasheed Araeen. His work addresses ideas of nation, belonging and migration probing and exploring ideas of 'Black' British-ness.

From Free to £9.90

Windrush: Portraits of a Pioneering Generation

25 May - 11 August 2024

Commemorating the 75th anniversary of HMT Empire Windrush's arrival in Britain, Windrush: Portraits of a Pioneering Generation is a display of ten portraits, highlighting the experiences of people who have made positive contributions to the United Kingdom.

From Free to £9.90

Valda Jackson: Miss Polly

25 May - 11 August 2024

A new installation of works by writer and artist Valda Jackson MBE RWA, exploring parent-child relationships and aspects of neurological research. Jackson's work reflects on her own experience as a child of the Windrush Generation.

From Free to £9.90

A Home for Art

16 July - 29 September 2024

This exhibition reveals some of the secrets of the building and tells the little-known stories of refugee artists who exhibited at the RWA from the 1940s to today.