“The Streets Are Paved With Gold” is a phrase that is used to suggest that it is easy to become rich and successful in a particular place. For many people from the Commonwealth that place was Britain who were invited and encouraged to migrate from their Commonwealth countries. To a large extent this invitation was to help rebuild the Britain as there was a shortage of labour after WWII.
‘Did We Make A Mistake Coming Here’ is a sculptural art work, a 3 meter x 1 meter gold leaf/foiled stone cobbled footpath housed in a steel tray frame, positioned a plinth. Along the path are metal inscribed with key historical moments, forming a timeline about the arrival and treatment of Afro-Caribbeans and south Asians after the Second World War. The timeline begins with the British Empire in the 16th century and takes us up to the Nationality and Borders Bill debated in 2022. As visitors move along the time-line the gold cobble path begins to fade to reveal its raw stone, commenting on the reality of our collective experiences living, working and calling Britain home, prompting the question “Did We Make a Mistake Coming Here?”