Windrush: Portrait of a Generation photography exhibition opens in Croydon’s Fairfield’s Halls

By Florence Leslie
September 24 2019, 11.45

The photography exhibition Windrush: Portrait of a Generation opened on Friday in Croydon’s Fairfield Halls as part of the venue’s relaunch.

Jim Grover, 61, an award-winning social documentary photographer from Clapham, took the photos over the course of nearly a year.

He got his idea for the project after speaking to a fellow church-goer.

Mr Grover said: “Last year was the 70th anniversary of the Windrush Ship arriving, and I thought ‘what a great idea’ to try and do something to coincide with that and so I found myself in a dominos club in Clapham.

“When I started, here’s a shocking confession, I had never heard of the ship Windrush.”

He added: “I realised as I talked to this community, this was an important story. As this generation passes away, the successive second, third, fourth generations aren’t living their lives as intensely tuned into the traditions and culture of the original migrants here so without realising it I was capturing living history.”

The exhibition features 60 predominantly black and white photographs alongside narratives from portrait subjects.

Hermione Grocia has her hair plaited in her Brixton home by one of her 11 grand-daughters

FAMILY TIME: Hermione Grocia has her hair plaited into corn rows in her Brixton home by Krystyna, one of her 11 grand-daughters. Credit: Jim Grover.

Originally exhibited in the Oxo Gallery in 2018, it attracted 13,000 visitors.

Neil Chandler, venue and artistic director of Fairfield Halls said: “It’s fitting that this exhibition documenting a highly significant episode in British history will have a four-month residency here among Croydon’s richly diverse community and in particular its Caribbean community; this photo story is also their story and it is truly inspiring.”

A spokesperson for Fairfield Halls added: “Over 50% of Croydon’s population are from the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups, and the Windrush community makes up a large part of this. We wanted to be a part of Croydon’s Windrush celebrations this year to bring to life the experiences of ‘Windrushers’ in this photography series.”

The exhibition will run until Sunday January 12, 2020.

Feature image: Victory! Kenrick, a member of the Nexus domino team from east London, celebrates success in an inter-club dominoes match in Clapham Manor Street, Clapham. Credit: Jim Grover.

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