Sir David Adjaye has designed a new memorial in Brixton to honor the life of Cherry Groce. The project will be sited in Windrush Square as a tribute to her life, an innocent mother who was shot in her home in 1985 by the Metropolitan Police. The new memorial will be designed to act as a beacon of hope in the pursuit of equality, justice and truth.
As Adjaye Associates notes, the shooting of Cherry Groce sparked the Brixton uprising in which a community rose up in protest to the institutional racism and systemic injustice faced by Britain’s black community. Commenting on the memorial, Lee Lawrence, the son of Cherry Groce who witnessed his mother’s shooting at the age of 11 said, “The 35th anniversary of my Mum’s shooting is a poignant time for our community. Over the years and despite all odds, we as a community have never faltered in our pursuit for justice. And whilst we still face enormous challenges, coupled with the impact of a pandemic, our plans for the memorial remain firm. The memorial will serve as a living legacy to a woman who never doubted the power of truth nor the spirit of community. We believe it will both honor and inspire a community that seeks to live in harmony.”
The vision for the memorial aims to create awareness and understanding of the life, strength, and experience of Cherry Groce and her family. Sir David Adjaye said, “The construction of this memorial will speak to restorative justice and will symbolize that what matters to the community, matters to London and the whole world. This tragedy went too long in the public realm without acknowledgement and there is now renewed urgency and importance in finally facing this history.”
A single column is representative of Cherry’s strength and support of her community. Integrated benches enhance the functionality allowing the community to engage with and benefit from the memorial pavilion, while the roof is made to speak to the protection and shelter of the Brixton community while its planting serves as a reminder of change, growth and optimism. The installation and construction will commence in the coming weeks, with an unveiling ceremony planned for this autumn.
News via Adjaye Associates