DELAINE LE BAS
TEXT BY SVEN BERLIN
READ BY MAUDE CASEY
Performance at Phoenix Brighton Friday 25th April 2014
The text was a chapter from Dromengro by Sven Berlin who lived with Gypsies during the time of the compounds in the New Forest and describes vividly the compounds and the discrimination, time does not diminish or change the racist attitudes present within the text which is as potent and true now as it was then. The performance took place within Delaine's installation Local Name: Unknown...Gypsies? at Phoenix Brighton and took place on the opening night Friday 25th April 2014.
The text was read by Maude Casey.
Stills from Delaine's performance "Green City"
LOCAL NAME: UNKNOWN... GYPSIES?
26 Apr – 15 Jun 2014
Drawing upon her Romany heritage and family ties to the New Forest area, Delaine Le Bas explores the artefacts, imagery and hidden history surrounding the Gypsies.In this immersive environment constructed within the gallery space, the artist will recreate and occupy her own version of ‘the compounds’ which were makeshift structures employed by the British government to contain Gypsy families in the New Forest during the first half of the 20th century. Incorporating photography, film and archival material alongside textiles and costumes hand printed and embroidered by the artist, the exhibition will feature an evolving installation embodying individual and collective experience, and will shine a contemporary light upon the complex and disturbing story of the Gypsies throughout the UK and Europe. Two glass and metal lanterns from the collection of Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford serve as the central metaphor and catalyst for this new body of work. Resembling similar lamps from India, these ones were made in the New Forest and remind the artist of the ‘magic lantern’ shows her grandmother and great uncles recounted from their childhood in Hampshire. These artefacts have been brought back to life through the stories, performances and activities taking place within the exhibition.
OBJECT OR INDIVIDUAL?
The title of the exhibition, ‘Local Name Unknown…Gypsies? was taken from a label accompanying Romany artifacts in a museum collection, and reflects the complexities of presenting and classifying objects and cultures within an art historical or anthropological context.
This afternoon of presentations, film screenings and discussion will take the experience and viewpoints of Gypsies and ‘Outsiders’ as a springboard for exploring how we perceive and represent ourselves and others through labels and imagery, both in institutional settings and in our everyday lives.
Delaine Le Bas will be joined by John Maizels (Founder of Raw Vision magazine), Dr. Louise Purbrick (University of Brighton), Tony Gammidge (art therapy and film) and Simon Costin (Museum of British Folklore). Over the course of the afternoon the panelists and attendees will have an opportunity to debate the issues and bring fresh perspectives to the discussion. There will also be a screening of films from Damian James Le Bas and the Rocket Artists.
Saturday 24 May 2014
Photos by Amelia Shepherd
ESSAY FOR THE EXHIBITION
by Ethel Brooks
10–14 Waterloo Place
Brighton BN2 9NB
East Sussex, UK