From News

Keeping Quiet

‘Keeping Quiet’: Town Mill, David West Gallery, Lyme Regis, 27 July – 16 August

Ricky Romain is a South West based artist. His imagery is semi-figurative and is inspired by Human Rights. He has exhibited nationally and internationally and has often been connected to unique artistic collaborations outside the usual gallery setting, which have cited his work in venues that reflect this theme, including:

  • The International Secretariat, headquarters of Amnesty International in London
  • Tooks Chambers the chambers of Michael Mansfield QC, London
  • The European Court of Human Rights building, Strasbourg
  • Matrix Chambers, London

His images have been used to inform academic publications and conferences, particularly in connection with asylum and immigration issues.

The Ricky Romain exhibition at the Town Mill in Lyme Regis is entitled ‘Keeping Quiet’. It explores questions of collective responsibility, ethical journalism and political accountability.

Ricky Romain at Matrix Chambers

23rd May – 25th June

Private view: paintings and works on paper by Ricky Romain, Wednesday 23 May from 6-8pm at Matrix Chambers, Griffin building, Grays Inn, London, WC1R 5LN. Tel: 020 7404 3447

Ricky Romain uses human rights issues to inform his imagery. Much of his work focuses on the portrayal of male sensitivity and gender stereotyping in relation to human qualities, particularly when connected to conflict resolution. He often pays direct reference to asylum and immigration and how they connect to the collective memory.

In order to maintain the artist’s commitment to Bid (bail for immigration detainees), 10% of the sale of all work will be donated to this organisation.

Matrix Arts Festival to celebrate World Refugee Day 2012

20th June, 5.30 – 8.30pm

Matrix, Griffin Building, Gray’s Inn, London WC1R 5LN

Join the Matrix Immigration, Asylum and Free Movement group.

For a series of unique exhibitions and performances exploring the experiences of refuges and marginalised individuals from all over the world. Those taking part include;

Ricky Romain. Art Exhibition using Human Rights Issues to inform imagery.

Bail for Immigration Detainees. Biographical talk from a former client of this independent charity, which exists to challenge immigration detention in the UK

Dance United. Performances by this company using dance to unlock the potential of marginalised individuals.

Leila Segal. Public readings of this author’s powerful refugee-related writing

PhotoVoice. Photography displayed by this organisation bringing about positive social change through photographic training.

How long is Indefinite? The first documentary to expose detention without time limit exercised on immigrants in Britain.

Stop the Traffick. Artwork and film from this global movement of individuals, communities and organisations fighting to prevent the sale of people, protected the trafficked and prosecute the traffickers.

RSVP to Annie Bargione on or +44(0)20 7404 3447

Platforma Festival 2011

The first Platforma Festival will take place in London across the week beginning 28 November, 2011. Bringing together performers, artists and organisations from across the UK, the Festival will be a celebration of the arts by and about refugees and a chance to discuss different aspects of artistic practice.

Like the Platforma project as a whole, the Festival will embrace as many art forms as possible including music, dance, visual arts, live art, film, spoken word and literature.

The primary venue will be Rich Mix in East London, close to major public transport links including Liverpool Street station.

The main elements of the Festival will be:

2-3 December: Platforma Conference

Two unmissable days for people interested in the arts by and about refugees. The conference will be lively, informal and infused with performance of all kinds. Contributors will come from all parts of the UK, with the programme shaped by the Platforma network of Regional Hubs.

28 November – 4 December: Counterpoint

A multidisciplinary event of work by and about refugees at Club Row, Rochelle School in London (just up the road from Rich Mix) – We invited proposals from visual and performance artists who are interested in and working around the issues of exile, migration, displacement and related issues to comment on these themes through painting, sculpture, photography, performance, sound or film. The line-up will be announced by the end of September. a selection of my work will be shown at the event.

2 December: An evening of acoustic and spoken word performance

A chance to relax and enjoy the wonderful variety of performances by and about refugees. Featuring musicians, poets , writers and performers from across the UK. Programming details and ticket prices to be confirmed.

3 December: The Platforma Festival Music Night

The Platforma Festvial will climax with a celebration of music by and about refugees. Guaranteed to get you up off your feet and dancing along to music from all around the world. Programming details and ticket prices to be confirmed.

Echoes and Traces

‘Echoes and Traces’ at Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton, 17 September – 20 November 2011.

The participating artists are:

Jill Carter

Jenni Dutton

Jon England

Mary Husted

Natasha Kerr

Tracey Oldham

Ricky Romain

Natalie Tkachuk

Phil Whiting

There will also be a small group of works contributed by Alzheimer patients in association with the Alzheimer’s Society.

The exhibition focuses on artists working with Memory in the broadest sense, from documenting family histories to using objects to trigger things forgotten. There is a diverse use of media and imagery touching upon found objects and materials that evoke nostalgic emotions, personal stories, and images half remembered which reflect intense moments and experiences.

Memory is triggered by places, objects and events. Some of the imagery looks to the past while other imagery looks to the future. Each is intensely personal.

Activities during 2009 – 2010

School workshops in association with the Pierian Centre, St Pauls, Bristol, to follow school visits to the ‘Anne Frank + You’ exhibition at Bristol Cathedral.

Four primary school workshops (in collaboration with partner Heather Fallows)

St Michael in the Mount Primary School – Year 5 children

Ashton Gate Primary School- Year 5 children

Changag Primary School – Year 6 children (2 days)

Work exhibited at the Pierian Centre as part of their Refugee Week exhibition.


‘Scared Memory Figures’. Image used for the cover for Human Security and Non-Citizens, edited by Alice Edwards and Carla Firstman, published by Cambridge University Press, 2010.

‘The Dweller’ – Image used on front cover of book of poetry by Clara Janes –  Book of Dispositions, published by Delit Editions, (France).


Exhibition to launch new website in collaboration with photographer Damon Knight at White Space Gallery, Axminster, 28 June – 1 August, 2009.

‘Innocents Accuses’

Exhibition at a la lour d’ Yvrande in Douvres de la Deverande. Presentee par l’Assocition de Jumelage,and Axminster Town Twinning Group, 5 – 19 June, 2010.

‘The Role Of The Arts In Understanding The Experiences Of Migration’

Researchers at Swansea University’s Centre for Migration Policy Research (CMPR) are hosting the fourth in their series of one-day ESRC-funded seminars, which aim to increase understanding of the migrant experience.

The fourth seminar, entitled ‘The role of the arts in understanding experiences of migration’ will explore the use of the arts as a method for exploring migration and for enabling migrants to articulate and express their experiences. It will also explore the existence or otherwise of ‘immigrant art’ or ‘refugee art’ and the use of the arts as a mechanism for communicating ‘the migrant experience’ to a wider public and policy audience.

Date: Tuesday 23rd February 2010

Time: 9:30am – 5pm.

Venue: Singleton Abbey, Swansea University, Singleton Park, Swansea, SA2 8PP


Professor Heaven Crawley, Swansea University

Dr Maggie O’Neill, University of Durham

Dr Tom Cheeseman, Swansea University

Alex Rotas, Cardiff University

Ricky Romain, Artist

Margareta Kern, Artist

Susan Roberts, Bridging Arts

Kuljit Chuhan, Artist and Founder of Virtual Migrants

To receive information about future events in the CMPR series please contact Professor Heaven Crawley, School of the Environment and Society, Tel: +44 (0) 1792 602409, email:

Chambers of horrors aim to raise the bar

A lawyer’s office may seem an odd place to launch an art exhibition but human rights workers, publishers and painters will mingle tonight with some of London’s top QCs at the opening of In the Absence of Justice, a year-long project examining civil liberties from a UK perspective. The project is a collaboration between human rights groups Amnesty International and Bail for Immigration Detainees (BID) and arts organisations Darlington Creative Enterprise and Triarchy Press.

Housed at Took’s Chambers, the London offices of leading human rights lawyers Richard Harvey and Michael Mansfield QC, the project kicks off with an exhibition of stark and haunting paintings by artist Ricky Romain, exploring the alienation and isolation of asylum seekers and refugees in the UK.

Romain says he hopes his work will challenge visitors to the project to question their own beliefs about human rights. “It’s not often that you get the art world and the legal profession coming together so it’s a great opportunity to get people thinking about their role in challenging human rights abuse,” he says.

Romain’s paintings were the initial inspiration for the project after Harvey saw the artist’s work at a gallery in Axminster, Devon. “I was just amazed by such a powerful artistic expression of issues that myself and my colleagues work on every day in the courts,” he says.

The exhibition will be followed by a series of lectures and art events that explore different facets of human rights, such as workplace bullying and corporate accountability.

Rosie Beckham, managing director at Triarchy Press, says basing the project at Took’s Chambers sends out a message that art has a part to play in the fight for justice. Triarchy Press has produced a book documenting the work of the project. It will go on sale on this year’s International Human Rights Day on Sunday to raise money for and awareness of the plight of refugees and detainees.

From The Guardian, 6 December, 2006.