15 Sep TILBURY BRIDGE WALKWAY OF MEMORIES ARTWORK VANDALISED
Tilbury Bridge Walkway of Memories is an art and sound installation on display at Tilbury Port Essex. The installation takes over one of the original walkways where passengers from the Empire Windrush disembarked over 73 years ago. These citizens from the British Empire marked the first post war wave of people from the Caribbean who came to answer the call to help rebuild post war Britain.
Yet the respect and recognition that these people, from the Windrush Generation deserve, still struggle to be accepted. Several of the 432 panes of glass where the artwork is featured has been broken, with vandals indiscriminately targeting the bridge.
The installation captures the spirit and resilience of the many that came from the Caribbean through the images, documents and extracts from twenty-five audio. It is a unique site-specific art that resonate with the Black Caribbean and local communities.
In a recent survey 83% of visitors to the artwork said they would like the exhibition/installation to remain at the Port as a testament to the lives of the people of the Windrush Generation. Yet there are some that are actively trying to tear it down.
Despite the antics of those who seek to cause criminal damage, the work will remain open to the public and the work will not be silenced. #SAVEWALKWAYOFMEMORIESFROMVANDALS
Tilbury Port Police and Tilbury Port are taking action to prevent further damage.
Artist EVEWRIGHT the Creator of Tilbury Bridge Walkway of Memories said:
“Whenever a public artwork is vandalised there is no justification for it. As the creator of the art, I feel the attack on the bridge personally as a Black British artist and as a direct first descendant of the Windrush Generation. However, I also feel it for my community who continue to be racially attacked and assaulted in all spheres of their lives from members of society who refuse to accept our presence as Black British.
This artwork is made as a celebration of the lives and endeavours of Caribbean elders, from the Windrush Generation. It has been created through the need to preserve their stories and first-hand accounts so future generations can understand the importance of the contributions they made to Britain. This work has received an overwhelming positive response from the public and those who contributed their stories and images. The feedback from the public is heartfelt knowing these stories where being told. Yet there are a few who choose to damage this beautiful work.
This is a targeted hate crime targeted towards the Windrush Generation. Who themselves had to show resilience in the face of the racism and barriers many of them experienced. I intend to keep the damage windows in place on the installation as a visible reminder of the hate and bigotry towards those that are seen as “other and foreigner” that still unfortunately still exists in our society today.
I am part of the next generation and we will resist those that wish to silence us. I will continue to create spaces through art for Black British stories to be seen and heard. It is only through education and awareness will ignorance and bigotry be overcome. They can break the windows but they cannot break our spirit and the hard-won unity that exists in our local community in Tilbury and beyond.”