12 Feb 2015
Stuart Hall Library Research Network Meeting

Say No To Identity Theft - Issues surrounding the politics, history and current situation of English Gypsy Romani identity in the U.K.

Join us on Thursday 12 February 6:30 - 8:30pm to hear artists Delaine Le Bas and Corrina Eastwood talk about their art practices.


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Delaine Le Bas artwork 'Say no to identity theft'

Delaine Le Bas 'Say No to Identity Theft'


Audio recordings of the talks available at the bottom of the page

Identity is the crisis can't you see
Identity, Identity
When you look in the mirror
Do you see yourself
Do you see yourself
On the TV Screen
Do you see yourself in the magazine
When you see yourself
Does it make you scream

When you look in the mirror
Do you smash it quick
Do you take the glass
And slash your wrists
Did you do it for fame
Did you do it in a fit
Did you do it before
You read about it

Lyrics by X-Ray Specs

With their practice artists Delaine Le Bas and Corrina Eastwood both explore the complexities and challenges of a personal sense of the owning and defining of identity, in relation to their individual experiences as part of the Romany Gypsy community within a wider social context.

Delaine Le Bas is an English Romani Gypsy. She works and lives in various locations within the U.K and Europe. She studied Fashion & Textiles at St Martins School Of Art. Delaine's works are cross practice including mixed media installations, drawing, performance, film, photography and sculpture. Her works deal with issues of exclusion, identity, stereotypes, untold histories, misrepresentation, gender, feminism and being the 'other'. Clothing and textiles, especially their cultural, symbolic and identifying qualities with costume in particular playing a major role within her performative practice and fabrics within her large detailed installations that she creates.

Delaine was advisor and one of the sixteen artists who were part of The First Roma Pavilion Paradise Lost, 52nd Venice Biennale 2007. She has exhibited her works internationally and extensively including her solo project Witch Hunt that has been touring since 2009 and was part of Round Table Gwangju Biennale South Korea. She continues to work with her husband the artist Damian Le Bas with their ongoing joint project Safe European Home? First constructed outside the Parliament building in Vienna in 2011 and which continues to tour.

Most recent projects include To Gypsyland co-curated by Barby Asante and commissioned by 198 Contemporary Arts & Learning and Grace In Thy Sight a PH1 Artists Residency where the Le Bas family were in residence in a caravan on the Eye of York.

Through her ongoing practice Le Bas continues to question ideas of identity and deconstruct what is thought to be the 'real' and the 'fantasy'. Straddling two worlds - the one of the Gypsies and the one of the dominant society. Inhabiting the space in between these, creating works and working collaboratively with other artists that find themselves in the same position nationally and internationally.

Corrina Eastwood A practicing artist for 15 years, writer and Art Psychotherapist Eastwood's work as an artist has primarily explored issues surrounding gender identity, feminism and the ambiguous nature of the impact of trauma. This often through the representation of physical and emotional scars, the healing process and the way in which we view such trauma. Her experiences of what feels to be bridging two worlds, with a Romany Gypsy father yet being raised in a house and seeking different educational paths than is common place within the community, is something that she has only just began to explore in her art practice through the making of a documentary film.

"My father is a Romany Gypsy and I have been raised with this knowledge and influence as well as spending time with family on sites and being a part of this community. However my father has always had an ambiguous and complex relationship to his ethnicity and culture in a way I feel has been shaped by societies prejudices. He made the decision with my mother to raise his children in a house and create a degree of distance for us from this part of himself. My ability to own this part of my own identity has undoubtedly been shaped by this very struggle within my father and has raised issues for me surrounding the impact of prejudice and acceptance on the individual and a culture in terms of identity, that I hope to explore in the film"

In bringing together their experiences of owning and defining identity as a Gypsy, personally and in turn within their artistic practices and creative process, Le Bas and Eastwood hope to utilise the research network to present elements of their work to aid opening a dialogue through the acknowledgement of shared experience and difference, with the aim of facilitating the start of a new ways of seeing.

 


More information

library@iniva.org 0207 749 1255


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