Paintings by acclaimed Jamaican artist Errol Lloyd feature on the George Padmore Institute website

February 3, 2021

We are excited to feature paintings by acclaimed artist Errol Lloyd on our website. The artworks have been specially selected by the artist to offer a flavour of all the archival collections held by the GPI. His vibrant and striking images on our new website will ensure this pioneering black artist is introduced to new generations.

Born in Jamaica, Errol Lloyd came to Britain in 1963 at the age of twenty. His long and distinguished career as an artist spans nearly sixty years and covers varied artforms and disciplines, including sculpture, painting, illustration and book covers. An award-nominated author, he has written many books for children and young people. As a campaigner, he has worked to promote black visual arts in Britain throughout his career.

A self-taught artist with several sculptures already to his name, Errol credits the sculptor Ronald Moody, the painter Aubrey Williams and other artists of the Caribbean Artists Movement (CAM) with giving him support and practical help to fully pursue the life of an artist. His membership of CAM led to a life-long relationship with New Beacon Books and the GPI. Errol’s sculptures include high-profile subjects such as the writer CLR James, Jamaican prime minister Sir Alexander Bustamante, politician Lord Pitt, cricketer Sir Garfield Sobers, poet and activist Linton Kwesi Johnson and the GPI’s co-founder John La Rose.

Errol created artwork for the covers of several seminal books printed by independent black publishers New Beacon Books and Bogle-L’Ouverture. In 1969, he produced the cover for Bogle-L’Ouverture’s first title, The Groundings with my Brothers by Walter Rodney. In 1971, he designed the cover for Bernard Coard’s How the West Indian Child is Made Educationally Sub-Normal in the British School System published by New Beacon. He also worked for mainstream publishers such as Random House, Penguin Books and Oxford University Press.

As an illustrator, Errol’s first children's book was My Brother Sean by Petronella Breinburg (Bodley Head, 1973). It was the first picture book by a mainstream UK publisher to feature black children. For this work he was Highly Commended for the Kate Greenaway Medal.

Not only an artist, Errol is also a writer. He has written numerous books for children; in 1995, his novel for teenagers, Many Rivers to Cross, was runner up for the Youth Library Group award.

Errol’s work to promote the art and culture of the black community has included serving in organisations such as: the Minorities' Arts Advisory Service (MAAS); the Visual Arts Panel at Arts Council England; the GLC grant-giving Ethnic Arts Sub-Committee; and on the selection panels of the Spirit of London exhibitions and of the Tricycle Theatre Gallery. He was curator of the Mappin Art Gallery photographic exhibition in the early 1980s. He also co-founded the Rainbow Arts Group.

Errol’s paintings and sculptures have been represented in recent group art exhibitions at the Guildhall Art Gallery, The Milton Keynes Gallery and at the Get Up Stand Up Now exhibition at Somerset House. A photograph of Errol Lloyd by Horace Ové hangs in the National Portrait Gallery, London.

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Picture by Errol Lloyd of European Action Group
(c) Errol Lloyd
(c) Errol Lloyd