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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, lifted from an emotive speech by the Member of Parliament in 2018 responding to the Windrush scandal, in which British subjects—many of whom had arrived in Britain
 from Caribbean nations decades earlier—were wrongly detained or threatened with deportation. 


The neon was first 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 2022the exhibition was also shortlisted for the Freelands Awards 2021. Between 16 Mar to 29 Apr 2023 the neon welcomed viewers in 'Rites of Passage' at Gagosian, Britannia Street gallery, a group exhibition curated by Péjú Oshin, featuring work by nineteen contemporary artists who share a history of migration.

Dimensions: 9000 x 300 mm

Elsa James DAVID Lammy.jpeg

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 Gagosian

Installation view, Gagosian, Britainnia Street Gallery,  Photo Lucy Dawkins. Courtesy Gagosian

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. It was fabricated by Neon Circus and curated by Elsa James.

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