Errol Lloyd: A Life in Colour | 26th November – 1st March 2023

Image: Errol Lloyd, The Domino Players (1986). Courtesy of the artist

Errol Lloyd: A Life in Colour

25th November | Private View

26th November — 1st March 2023 | Open

Curated by Rianna Jade Parker


With this timely retrospective, we celebrate the lifework of pioneering Jamaican artist, Errol Lloyd and his contributions to the visual and literary culture in Black Britain. In the largest survey to date, all aspects of his artist career will be presented, including works rarely or never exhibited before. His iconic portraits of nominal figures such as poet James Berry and activist-scholar Walter Rodney and women in his family. Also featured are Lloyd’s bronze busts of friends and colleagues including writers Linton Kwesi Johnson and John La Rose, as well as conceptual works inspired by his travels and lively scenes from Notting Hill Carnival over the years. Lloyd has exhibited his paintings widely and has illustrated and written twenty books for children, many of which will be on display alongside his sketchbooks and personal ephemera.

About the Artist

Errol Lloyd (b. 1943, Jamaica) is an artist and writer, who has been based in London since the 1960’s where he studied law, completing his bar finals in 1974. By this time, he had executed commissioned busts of Sir Alexander Bustamante, past Prime Minister of Jamaica, Garfield Sobers, cricketer, the writer and historian C.L.R. James, the politician Lord Pitt, writer and publisher John La Rose and poet Linton Kwesi Johnson. His paintings have been widely exhibited, and currently a number of his paintings are on show in the group exhibition Paint Like the Sparrow Sings Calypso at Kettle’s Yard Gallery, Cambridge, on the theme of carnival. In 2019 he was commissioned by Pembroke College, Cambridge University, to paint a portrait of their distinguished alumnus, Kamau Brathwaite, which now hangs in their dining hall.


Now well known as an author and illustrator of children’s literature, he has written over twenty children’s books and was Highly Commended for the Kate Greenway Medal (1973) for his illustrations of My Brother Sean by Petronella Breinburg, the first British children’s book featuring a Black main character. His novel for young Adults, Many Rivers to Cross, (1995) was nominated for the Carnegie Medal. A number of his books have appeared in foreign editions and his novel, Many Rivers to Cross, in a braille edition.


A central figure of the Caribbean Artist’s Movement (CAM), 1966 -1972, he went on to produce many books cover designs and posters for the newly established London Black-owned publishing companies, New Beacon Books and Bogle L’Ouverture Publications and Allison & Busby. For four years he ran the Minorities’ Arts Advisory Service (MAAS) and served as Art Editor of their inter-cultural magazine, Artrage.




Rianna Jade Parker

Rianna Jade Parker is a writer, curator and researcher based in South London and Kingston. She is a Contributing Editor of Frieze magazine and co-curated War Inna Babylon: The Community’s Struggle for Truths and Rights at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London. Her first book A Brief History of Black British Art was published by Tate in 2021.

Thank you to The George Padmore Institute, Arts Council England, Freelands Foundation and Yvonne Brewster for their support.