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ODE TO DAVID LAMMY MP

Black neon

The neon cites the words I AM HERE BECAUSE YOU WERE THERE—a universal declaration for many Black people in the African diaspora, which was lifted from an emotional and expressive speech by the Member of Parliament in 2018 responding to the Windrush scandal. As Lammy put it—the Windrush scandal was more than a unique mistake caused by officials; it was a disgraceful and as yet unresolved display of a toxic and racist undercurrent driven by public alarm over immigration.



The neon was exhibited in the window gallery as part of the solo exhibition 'Othered in a region that has been historically Othered' at Focal Point Gallery, between 25 June to 18 Sept 2022. The exhibition was also shortlisted for the Freelands Awards 2021.

Dimensions: 9000 x 300 mm

Elsa James, Focal Point Gallery

Installation view, Focal Point Gallery, 2022. Photo Anna Lukala

Elsa James, Focal Point Gallery

Installation view, Focal Point Gallery, 2022. Photo Anna Lukala

Elsa James, Focal Point Gallery

Installation view, Focal Point Gallery, 2022. Photo Anna Lukala

Elsa James, Focal Point Gallery

Installation view, Focal Point Gallery with David Lammy MP on Big Screen Southend, 2022. Photo Anna Lukala

Elsa James, Focal Point Gallery

Installation view, Focal Point Gallery, 2022. Photo Anna Lukala

Elsa James, Focal Point Gallery

Installation view, Focal Point Gallery, 2022. Photo Anna Lukala

Ode to David Lammy MP was commissioned by Focal Point Gallery as part of the solo exhibition 'Othered in a region that has been historically Othered' (2022) and generously funded by Arts Council England, Focal Point Gallery and Southend-on-Sea City Council. The neon was fabricated by Neon Circus and photographed by Anna Lukala. The exhibition was curated by Elsa James.

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