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Honor Titus (b. 1989)

Portrait of Delisser Bernard

b. 13 September 1928, Jamaica | Came to Britain in 1948 | Oil on canvas |

Delisser first travelled to Britain when he joined the RAF aged sixteen in 1944. He returned home after the war but answered the invitation from the British government for ex-servicemen to help with the re-building of the country, sailing on the HMT Empire Windrush in May 1948 and arriving at Tilbury Docks three weeks later on the 22 June. Settling in Wolverhampton, Delisser was employed for most of his life at Vauxhall Motors in Luton. He met Marjorie Wildey, whom he later married in St Matthews Church, which he professes ‘was the happiest day of my life’, and together they raised four children.

Artist Honor Titus’s reflection

My objective was to gather a story … [I] pondered how to capture Delisser within this portrait. His strength and pride were what I held onto. I employed some classical portraiture techniques to accentuate his fortitude. I made it a night scene to challenge the viewer. What would being faced with an enduring figure like Delisser conjure in you?