DENIZE LEDEATTE, IESHA
Visual Artist. Director of National Windrush Museum @ Peach Mango Maverick Artistic Practise
My name is Iesha Denize Ledeatte and I am here in my capacity as a visual artist. Outside of that, I am Denize Ledeatte my business persona after stepping away from an artistic path as a consequence of racism in my earliest artistic scholarship. Two things brought me back to an artistic path - fury and grief. Fury at the Wilberforce Bicentenary and grief at my father’s death in 2010, which together joined the dots specifically on British enslavement, shaping my practise. That journey of recovery found closure 10 years later in 2020 when my mother died. I am currently the Director (acting) of the National Windrush Museum in the UK, which launches its board on July 9th 2022. I am also a GlobalWIIN Alumni, who serves on the CaribbWIIN Advisory Board and Fellow of the RSA. I contributed to the Routledge Handbook of Postcolonial Politics in 2018 and have recently concluded my inaugural Grande Visual Narrative ArtBook ‘The Purple Chapters’ a Triptych – Trilogy exploring a journey of terminal illness, grief, loss, identity and healing all from a Windrush perspective.
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Reimagining Un-Windrush Here and There...
Imagine the visually abstracted impact of reparation compensation payment in the Caribbean though an artistic lens and reimaging another Caribbean, without Windrush. Windrush, is currently a dominant narrative in the UK as a consequence of the revised British immigration policy which was instrumental in former mass migration from the Caribbean. As an artist my translation of Windrush as motif is a ‘400-year-old blueprint of human creative capacity, adaptation, endurance, resilience and the tangible tail-end of British transatlantic enslavement which created the foundation for modern society. Windrush in its contemporary manifestation would not exist in a compensated redeveloped Caribbean region. Visual abstracted reimagining will be sandwiched between quotations from Prince Klass, Paul Bogle, Eric Williams, Walter Rodney, Maurice Bishop, Aime Cesaire, Edouard Glissant, Derek Walcott, Sir Hilary Beckles, and Her Excellency Mia Mottley who have commented on colonial context. Painted abstractions will reflect a selection of islands by exploring aspects of their history. The notion of rebuild and repair, will be abstracted through my practice of Visual Narrative ArtBook, one of which was recently presented to the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda commemorating 40 years of independence in 2021. Within the context of the recent pandemic which has devastated the regions people in term of lost lives and livelihoods, the call for ‘building back’ begs even more urgently for a diversification away from tourism as the lifeblood of the region. I am visually abstracting those possibilities.