Photograph by Robert Golden. www.robertgoldenpictures.com
There are so many humanitarian challenges that impact on this particular time in history that I feel I can no longer work in isolation from them.
For the last 16 years I have endeavored to create work that reflects the complexity of political conflict surrounding prominent Human Rights issues.
My work is usually figurative, whether it is exploring the poignancy of single male figures, or revealing the multi-layered ambiguity of masculine groups.
The male figure is prominent because it reflects, via unconscious subjectivity, my own sensitivity in relation to global concerns. This in no way impedes my dedication to sexual equality.
I have recently exhibited paintings at the London headquarters of Amnesty International, at Tooks Chambers – the chambers of Michael Mansfield QC, The European Council Building in Strasbourg and at the Matrix Chambers in London.
It is especially fulfilling when exhibitions are collaborations that highlight the work of particular organisations. In this way my work acts as a focus for scrutiny and debate.
I am interested in working with organisations and institutions that would like use my imagery to act as a focus for what they do.
In 2015 I received a grant from Arts Council England for a seven-week show at Bridport Arts Centre. Called ‘Marking Injustice': A Painter’s Way of Coping it was a collaboration with the artist Heather Fallows and the filmmaker Robert Golden, whose new film about myself and my work was premiered at Bridport Arts Centre on Tuesday, May 5.
Exile ‘A mind in Winter
“We all carry within us our places of exile,
our crimes and our ravages.
But our task is not to unleash them on the world,
it is to fight them in ourselves and in others.”
This is a time of exile from any redemption previously offered by the myths of heaven and the supposed forgivingness of God. Because of this, Camus said,“There is no sustainable criterion on which to base a judgement of value. One must act and live in terms of the future. All morality becomes provisional.”This provisional morality is a convenient way to change one’s view and actions from month to month. This in part is what creates life on earth as heavenly or hellish.
People suffer different forms of exile – from themselves as if a lost child fostered by emotional or mental fissures in their lives; from family, neighbours, work and society because of life’s pressures, or because economic / political factors disrupt everyday life, and at times because what they are capable of imagining may be contradictory to what their society considers acceptable. And of course because the most monstrous part of ourselves is capable of destroying our roots to our own land, forcing us into removing ourselves from our own identities.
EXILE is a project that will rely on metaphor and mood to transport the audience to a humane domain in which our shared humanity becomes paramount, where all the worst may be contemplated and all the best may be embraced.
THE EXILE PROJECT – Practicals
Three artists are developing a collaboration in film, paint, poetry, photography, music and dance devoted to human rights, and to telling a story of exile, refugees and freedom. It will be composed of the following:
A painting divided into 72 separate images. They relate the ancient story of 36 guardians of humanity and their 36 substitutes who exist because the world is never in balance unless all 72 exist at the same time. The guardians are there to right our wrongs and help the injured and sorrowful.
A film will be projected in the same space near the painting. It will be composed of:
-some of the painting’s squares;
-filmed interviews with local citizens and politicians about the state of the world;
-stills images of the local community living their lives
-interwoven with a choir of children singing an inspiring song about becoming the future
-and weaving through will be a newly choreographed modern dance performed for the film by a group of young people.
A third element will reveal why and how a particular person was forced into exile and became refugees. This piece will be a collaboration between the painter, the photographer/film-maker and a young Congolese painter and film-maker who is an asylum seeker in the UK. We believe a second film will emerge from the research and development the artists will engage in with each other, but the brief is open. This film will fill the third wall of the exhibition space.
There are, at the moment, no boundaries to this collaboration. The three lead artists are committed to helping the audience grasp the human realities of exile, migration and the oppression, which challenge our understanding of our shared humanity.
Ricky Romain and Robert Golden are experienced artists and teachers in their fields of work. Cedoux Kadima is a developing artist with a refined lightness of touch as a writer, painter and film-maker.
The three artists have already met and worked together informally under the auspices of a European project where they discovered each other’s mutual interests and respect. It is clear to them that they will be able to enrich each other’s storytelling and at times merge their work together into a greater whole.
Please click on the images or titles below to see more of my work.