Works by Luke Johnson, Ethan Fenton, Grace Morrison, and Laura Chiswa & Zac Akeem.
Part of the 'In Loving Memory of Ronnie' Collection, dedicated to Rowan 'Ronnie' Gardner.
The Bill Poster (shortly before taking a photo)
In May 2022, Jaz Morrison (curator) was awarded funding from Grand Plan and had an opportunity to work on a new creative project with us. In 2020, we had successfully completed our initial Billboard Project thanks to support from neighbouring SIP (Simple Intelligent Parking). In 2021, some of our members contributed to publication 'In Loving Memory of Errol' for Ikon Gallery. Sadly that winter, Word Life member Ronnie Gardner passed.
At the time of Ronnie's passing and funeral, there was discussion amongst his family abroad and Word Life on how to commemorate his life. Ronnie loved creativity, his faith, and food! And he'd lived in Jamaica, the United States, and here across the UK. We'd only known Ronnie for a few years, but would remember him for a lifetime.
This became the basis for 'In Loving Memory of Ronnie'. Project Liaison Nathan Morrison brought in members interested in lending their drawing, penmanship, and graphic design skills. Some discussions ensued over Zoom and WhatsApp, where the scope of the project was discussed, as well as themes and styles. Our exhibiting artists then had between June and August to create something.
In early September, we previewed some 'sneak peeks' on Instagram. After various delays beyond our control, we progressed with formatting the billboard design, confirming the print, and arranging the install for early February 2023 – a week before launch.
A couple of us were present to document the install process on the morning of Monday 6 February. It officially launches to the community on Sunday 12 February 2023, shortly after service. However, it can be viewed publicly 24/7 – our intended purpose for utilising the billboard in this way.
This project wouldn't be possible without funding from Grand Plan.
Special thanks to Curator Jaz Morrison, Word Life Project Coordinator Nathan Morrison, Artists Luke Johnson, Ethan Fenton, Grace Morrison, Zachary Akeem & Laura Chiswa, BRMTWN, and Foscos.
'In Loving Memory of Errol' was a publication created in response to artist Keith Piper's 'A Ship Called Jesus' (1991, 2021), as well as artist Jaz Morrison's 'Firmament' performance with musician Millicent James and the Word Life Corral (Patricia Morrison, Prisca Bako, Monica Gutzmore) at Minerva Works (slow boat) for the 2021 Ikon Migrant Festival.
We contributed to this publication, and its name inspired our billboard project.
Click the button below for more information about 'In Loving Memory of Errol', or to view the publication.