Caribbean Artist Helen France MBE Celebrates Windrush

Leeds-based Caribbean artist Helen France, MBE, is set to captivate art enthusiasts and those interested in Caribbean culture with her unique six-month “Windrush Stories” exhibition, which opened on Monday, June 17.


The Exhibition, a vibrant and joyous celebration of the Windrush Generation, is hosted on the ground floor at Shine, a community and business hub on Harehills Road, Leeds LS8. This Exhibition, unlike any other, offers a privileged opportunity to delve into the personal stories and experiences of the Windrush Generation through Helen’s unique artistic lens, promising a truly immersive and enlightening experience that will leave a lasting impression.

Helen France MBE

Helen is excited to have the support and funding of Leeds City Council for her Exhibition. With a career spanning over five decades, before health issues Helen established herself as a prominent figure in the art world, featuring her works in prestigious galleries. Her unique perspective as a member of the Windrush Generation, a group of individuals who migrated from Caribbean countries to the United Kingdom between 1948 and 1971, infuses her art with a captivating depth and authenticity, making this Exhibition a must-see for art enthusiasts and those interested in Caribbean culture.

Helen, who has chosen Yorkshire as her home, has pursued her passion for Art, having studied at art college in Leeds in the 1960s, 1980s, and 2000s. Her artwork, characterized by rich colours and vibrancy that reflect the hues of the Caribbean, will be on full display at the Exhibition. Helen has hosted numerous exhibitions, including her painting at the Leeds Art Gallery, and her unique artistic style will captivate all who attend.

Helen has been actively promoting a positive message of tolerance towards Caribbean culture and celebrating the genuine richness of multicultural Britain, encompassing diversity and inclusion. She has received numerous Art awards for contributing to the Leeds Caribbean community. She has shared her Art through various platforms and with multiple communities – youth clubs, schools, community groups and universities.

Helen France receiving her MB in 2005E from the then Prince Charles, for services to art and the Yorkshire community.

In 2005, Helen was honoured with an MBE for her services to Art and the Yorkshire community. She expresses immense pride in her Yorkshire City and Caribbean heritage, highlighting that the City of Leeds has been her canvas and a great source of inspiration as an artist. The Exhibition’s location at Shine is not only a convenient and accessible venue but also a symbolic choice. Harehills, a diverse and vibrant neighbourhood, is a testament to Leeds’ multicultural fabric, making it the perfect setting for celebrating Caribbean culture and the Windrush Generation.

Visitors to the Exhibition can anticipate vibrant and colourful artwork celebrating Caribbean and Yorkshire living. The Exhibition features various mixed-media works, including batiks, paintings and linocuts, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the stories and experiences of the Windrush Generation. It promises to be an engaging and memorable experience.

Main image: Childhood Lobster. Helen France 2000. Photography by Queen & BCA Film.

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