A migrant's outlook just as relevant today; Object of the month.
A SCULPTURE by West Bromwich born artist Donald Rodney has gone on display at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery.
Land of Milk and Honey II, which can be seen in Gallery 12, is a sealed wood and glass vitrine of copper coins and congealed milk.
The term "Land of Milk and Honey" resonates for a generation of West Indian people who settled in England in the 1950s and 1960s. Rodney's father was part of this wave of Caribbean migrants and moved from Jamaica to the West Midlands in 1958. The artwork's title alludes to the hope and promise that the prospect of moving to England held for many people in the mid 20th century and the subsequent disillusion felt by some as the reality proved to be very different. Born in West Bromwich in 1961, Rodney grew up in Smethwick as one of 12 children.
He was diagnosed with sickle cell anaemia, a hereditary blood disorder, as a child by a doctor at Birmingham's Children's Hospital.
That meant he suffered from acute pain and reduced mobility until his untimely death at the age of 36 in 1998, making the Land of Milk and Honey II the last artwork he produced.
A spokesperson for the library said: "Land of Milk and Honey II is a pivotal work by the artist.
"The continual decay of the milk and copper coins refers to both the artist's own mortality and his family's move from the Caribbean to England in the mid 20th century."
Land of Milk and Honey II by Donald <BRodney is on display at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery