Windrush: 75 Years
Royal Mail

2023 marks the 75th anniversary of the arrival of MV Empire Windrush to the UK on 22nd June 1948. We were really pleased to be asked to work on the design of a set of eight stamps released by Royal Mail to celebrate the influence and contribution of the Windrush generation to the UK.

Originally envisaged as a set of images by the same artist, it soon became clear that the rich variety of influences introduced by such a vibrant generation would be better served through the commission of a number of different image makers

Sharing the project with our friends at Supple Studio we worked on four
stamps each and commissioned five Black British artists, all with a Caribbean heritage, to depict one of eight cultural influences, from sport to music, food to politics – three of the artists designed two stamps each. The artists were selected not just because of their obvious talent but also because they had a family connection to the Windrush generation.

Title: Carnival Come Thru Artist: Bokiba A 1st class stamp with the title 'Windrush: 75 Years'. A colourful scene showing a man and two younger girls playing steel drums in a carnival. The girls have bright clothes and headdresses and the background is an abstract ink pattern.
Title: Here We Come Artist: Bokiba A £2.00 stamp with the title 'Windrush: 75 Years'. A colourful scene with a montage of people in various poses, playing cricket. In the foreground is a batsman swinging at a ball. In the background are two bowlers.
“As someone of Guyanese heritage, I wanted to create something that not only my grandparents/great grandparents would love but all others from the Windrush generation. Celebrating Windrush and the many things it has brought to the UK through my use of vibrant uplifting colours, I hope that this first collection of Windrush stamps are loved throughout Britain especially by those of Caribbean heritage.”


See more of Bokiba’s work

"Producing the stamps has been one of the biggest and loveliest highlights of my career. I’ve worked in the creative field as a graphic designer for a couple of decades but have only been producing art for four years, so I still consider myself quite a new artist. Running my business, Absolutely Kareen, is pretty varied in the type of work that I produce and the clients that I have.

When I received the initial email from The Chase, asking if I’d be interested in the commission, I honestly thought it was a poor excuse for a joke. Realising it wasn’t, I then got very emotional. My parents travelled to England from the Caribbean in the early sixties. It wasn’t easy for them as finding accommodation and decent paying jobs were few and far between. My mum looked after four children by herself. At times, holding down three jobs (including working for the Post Office catering section) to ensure that we had everything that we needed, and more.

This commission is a nod to my generation, my parents generation and to my children. It’s a ‘thank you’ to all the Commonwealth people that were invited to come to England to help rebuild the country after the war. It’s validation that the art I’m producing is pretty darn good and that people want to see more. So big thanks to Royal Mail and to The Chase. It’s been an absolute pleasure.”

Kareen Cox

See more of Kareen’s work