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Clifton Powell (b. 1958)

Portrait of Gilda Oliver

b. 7 June 1932, Jamaica | Came to Britain in 1955 | Acrylic on canvas |

Gilda lived in Kingston, Jamaica, with her husband Clarence and their three children but struggled to make ends meet, so travelled to Birmingham in 1955 to give the family more opportunities to thrive. Knowing the racism and discrimination that her family would experience, Gilda vowed to always treat others with kindness, forging friendships and ties with her local community. She worked for the NHS, and had five more children, instilling in them the love of learning, and inspiring others with her helpful attitude and caring actions.

Artist Clifton Powell’s reflection

I always create my art to music and … found tranquillity and focus within the song ‘The Singing Bowl’... Throughout the painting, I felt my connection with Jamaica, my family and childhood. Mrs Oliver brought this all back … Although the painting is now complete, it will always be part of me, reminding us all about the Windrush Generation with a sense of pride.