The Gesture

Explores the story behind an enigmatic portrait: “Nurse Brown from Jamaica” held at Wolverhampton Art Gallery.

In 1956, a young Black nurse was painted by a middle-aged white artist, Irene Welburn.

The painting is excellent but it holds a mystery. What is the strange gesture that Nurse Brown is making? Does the artist know? Or will her sitter tell her?

The film is also a small tribute to Paulette Wilson, who was an heroic Windrush campaigner and would have known what the gesture meant.