The mural is part of ‘What is our Place?’, our programme of off-site, community-based work aiming to strengthen local partnerships and explore how creativity can contribute to the wider city. Created by Southampton-based artist Slam Daniels, Neil Edward and Flash1, it seeks to acknowledge the cultural impact of the band Ebony Rockers had on the city.
The mural celebrates the Ebony Rockers, who were a ground-breaking reggae band who burst onto the music scene in the 1980s and were one of the first Southampton bands signed to a major record label, EMI.
The mural builds on the stories told in Rebel Music, a 2019 exhibition at Solent Showcase Gallery, curated in collaboration with Don John, that told the stories of the 'shebeens' or Blues parties that took place in the 60s, 70s and 80s in Southampton as an alternative to commercial clubs and bars, which regularly excluded Black customers from entering. The Ebony Rockers, whose image was featured in the window display of the exhibition, were a fundamental part of this Black music scene in Southampton in the 80s, and musician Craig David. The impact of that window display on the local community led to the development of this more permanent mural.
The mural was unveiled to an excited crowd that included many original band members. The event was celebrated with speeches, food, and music from Maka Foundation Soundsystem.
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