Caribbean Takeaway Takeover: Identities and Stories

S&S Caribbean Cafe, Colchester, United Kingdom
23 Jun 2018 - 22 Jul 2018

Photo etchings of Alford Gardner Empire Windrush passenger, Lenore Sykes, Alton Watkins, Tina Aparicio, Don Sydney, Gloria Whyte, Hamilton Williams, Nell Green, Carlton Darrell, Carol Sydney. Site specific Art and sound installation detail from SS Caribbean Cafe.. © EVEWRIGHT all rights reserved 2018

Photo etchings of Alford Gardner Empire Windrush passenger, Lenore Sykes, Alton Watkins, Tina Aparicio, Don Sydney, Gloria Whyte, Hamilton Williams, Nell Green, Carlton Darrell, Carol Sydney. Site specific Art and sound installation detail from SS Caribbean Cafe.. © EVEWRIGHT all rights reserved 2018

The amazing art and sound installation Caribbean Takeaway Takeover; Identities and Stories is now showing at S&S Caribbean Cafe until Sunday 22 July. Over the opening 70th Anniversary weekend and first few days over 150 people brought their families, elders, children and grandchildren to see the installation and listen to the recordings of ten Windrush Generation elders.

The installation features ten limited edition photo etchings of elders produced by creative director and Artist Evewright along with audio interviews complied by the EAF team, Ionie Richards Producer/Writer and volunteers. Ten selected Caribbean elders from the Windrush generation, who arrived in the UK between the 1940’s-1960’s shared their stories with the public using voice and sound recordings. Their stories reveal their journeys, the impact of their contribution to British society and their legacy.

Artist EVEWRIGHT devised a further intervention in the takeaway café space created wall and table collages in conjunction with special limited-edition portraits of the participants using photo etching as a medium. The art installation is an immersive experience which depicts present images but also fading thoughts, aspirations and memories created to document and reflect participants lives. Even some personal documents are shown such as one elder’s original passenger ticket that he bought for his passage to England in 1961 also a letter of a family member in the Homeland asking to receive financial remittance. This project, Caribbean Takeaway Takeover: Identities and Stories, is exhibited free to the public at S&S Caribbean Café & Takeaway, a focus for the black community in Colchester UK. Although the story of migration has always been a current one, this installation helps to give insight into the lives of these ten British adventurers from the Windrush Generation.

The space is taken over, repurposed and transformed into an art installation where sound recordings of the elder’s stories are played throughout the day. The takeaway will continue to function as an eatery allowing visitors an opportunity to sample Caribbean cuisine and experience the stories in a unique environment.

Artist Evewright says the installation is timely as “it has created an opportunity for people to immerse themselves and find out about this generation of people and ask questions which many felt they were unable to do before. With the recent Windrush deportation scandal our community needs not just healing but the general public need to learn more about these Windrush pioneers and what the pioneers and the children of this generation means to British society.”

Why not pop in to the café and sample the Caribbean cuisine and hear about Alford Gardner’s experience on the Empire Windrush, or Tina’s achievements of delivering 2000 babies in Thurrock and how Nell and Lenore as nurses tackled racist attitudes raising mixed raced children. Listen to why Alton got everything he wanted. Find out why Carlton’s contribution to sports earned him an MBE.  Hear Don and Carol talk of their time in the NHS, explain SuSu and explore questions of identity. Why was Gloria thankful that Jamaican’s bought houses? Hamilton thinks the British government remains, “far from the truth.” Come and find out why and hear more of their journey and the barriers they all had to overcome to make a life in England.

Ionie Richards said. “It’s been an amazing first week which has brought contributions of stories not just from the Windrush generation and their children but stories of migration from Syrians, Kurdish, Chilean, Vietnamese people who have posted their stories to our board. Why not join the conversation by writing your migration story on passport postcards at the venue and add to our memory wall or go to our blog page on our website to upload your story there? These will be added to the archive and shared on our website.”

Extracts of the ten audio recordings will be held on the projects website the end of July  https://caribbeantakeawaytakeover.wordpress.com/tell-us-your-beautiful-story-1/

The full-length audio recording will be available to the public from the Essex Record Office once the project ends.


About the artists

Everton Wright (EVEWRIGHT), a Black British artist, uses a diverse range of media spanning moving-image, drawing, performance, painting and sculpture. Influenced by his heritage his practice explores the relationship between the body, identity, Britishness, and spaces they inhabit in public and virtual realms. Evewright studied at Central St Martins and Middlesex University. He’s exhibited internationally including Royal Academy of Arts, BFI (British Film Institute) and currently exhibiting as part of the Britishness Project -Firstsite Gallery Colchester.

Ionie Richards is a Black British writer, poet, project manager and arts administrator. In her writing; her themes explore the underclass, migration and giving voice to the disposed. Ionie’s poetry featured in Red: Contemporary Black British Poetry published by Peepal Tree in 2010. Poems in her GER: Separation collection deals with locating her place in British society. Her short story Nine Nights appeared in an anthology IC3 the penguin book of new black writing in Britain, published by Penguin in 2000.


S&S Caribbean Cafe
39 A St Johns Street
Colchester CO2 7AD


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