Romani Cultural Arts Company Gypsy Maker 4 Commission.
Working with the RCAC on its Gypsy Maker project provides a unique opportunity that is rarely available, especially to Gypsy, Roma and Traveller groups. Its approach of tirelessly commissioning ground breaking work and projects has helped promote understanding about GRT communities.
My work has become not only a journey to learn about my own culture, but also a way to integrate my identity with my art practice.
The floor pieces and the wall mounted paper pieces are linked as they both represent re-imagined landscapes.
1. Patteran. 91cm x 60cm x 50cm, mixed media.
2. Patteran. 91cm x 60cm x 50cm, mixed media.
3. Patteran. 122cm x 76cm x 50cm, mixed media
4. Patteran. 65cm x 54cm x 55cm, mixed media.
In these works I examine the double belonging of being “home”, and at the same time, “other”, that has always structured Romani identity and unity. We are all Roma, and at the same time, we belong to the landscape – the territories and countries we live in.
I have been looking at this through the filter of the Roma diaspora, and how our many different countries have benefitted from our cultural influence.
Working with modern population maps and distinctive charms I represent how we have travelled and crossed continents, using traditional crafts or occupations. By having the work on the ground, made from materials associated with road making and construction, well established Traveller ways of earning a living, but highly coloured and altered, I reimagine the past, focus on the present, and look towards the future, to challenge the mainstream culture’s view of our identity.
1 Per. 61cm, Recycled paper pulp, dried medicinal herbs.
2 Mui. 61cm, Recycled paper pulp, dried medicinal herbs.
3 Kan. 61cm, Recycled paper pulp, dried medicinal herbs.
4 Yok. 61cm, Recycled paper pulp, dried medicinal herbs.
In my research I looked at the history of Travelling peoples as healers. I discovered a wide range of wild medicinal plants that would be available to Roma across Europe. In these works they are chosen to represent protection against some of the hazards of travelling self sufficiently across continents. The use of recycled materials again reflects Roma occupations, present and past, and our role in the various economies of our host countries. The works are created as maps of imagined, more positive, future worlds.
1 Cosh. 90cm x 60cm x 10cm, wood, perspex, foam
2 Coshtis. 90cm x 60cm x 10cm, wood, perspex, foam
I am interested in how human life can be defined and archived through made objects. I want to explore how these objects communicate across timelines through a shared ‘material’ culture, and how they articulate that culture to a wider audience. In relation to the Romany community, I include transactional objects such as pegs and wooden or paper flowers in this category. In these works, I have revalued these objects as works of art, in the in the way they are exhibited and the context in which they are shown.
In reassesing their value to both Traveller and non Traveller, I hope to establish a balanced dialogue, not one simply based on approbation without interpretation or understanding.
I have also have taken part in an online presentation and discussion of my work for Gallery 39, Cardiff.