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The Musicians Who Only Play And Sing For The Drowning

The collaborative event that I have received funding from and ‘Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England’

involves the exploration of  marrying ‘sculpting  with sound’ techniques with my improvisational  Indian music experience  

  I am currently creating paintings  that explore an amalgamation of  loosely, referenced figurative imagery with  abstracted  ‘musical instrument’ shapes  I have entitled the series

 ‘The Musicians who only Play and Sing For the Drowning’

 I will be working with Dr.Matthew Emmett and we will be using these images to inspire musical montages and mutually improvised soundscapes.

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‘The Musicians Who Only Play And Sing For The Drowning’ by Ricky Romain oil and Indian Ink on gesso on canvas 180cm x 129cm

Exile – A Mind In Winter

Alsop Gallery, Bridport Arts Centre, 9 South St. Bridport DT6 3NR – Private View Tursday 26th March 6-9pm – Exhibition Continues until 2nd May. Tuesday – Saturday, 10am-4pm

Exile is a place so many of us have entered or lived within, those who are excluded, those who are without homes and have fled war and conflict, those whose gender or disability exiles them from society and those who just live in that empty mental space of aloneness.

An exhibition of the work by Ricky Romain Robert Golden, Cedoux Kadima. You are invited to the Private View and opening of the exhibition at 6pm on Thursday 26th March 2020.

From 7pm – 9.00 there will be film, conversation and live music in the the theatre. RVSP to reserve a seat and make sure there is enough food and wine.

Please also make a note of a world music and human rights concert as part of Exile at BAC on April 30th. Guest musicians tbc. Tickets from BAC box office. Look forward to welcoming you to BAC.

Unfortunately due to the global pandemic the exhibition was postponed. We now have a provisional date for the exhibition to open which is 1st December 2020 – 2nd January 2021. With the musical performance on Human Rights Day on the 10th December.

EXILE – A Mind in Winter

Robert Golden on his contribution to the Exile project:

One day I was invited to the studio of a good friend and soul mate, the painter Ricky Romain. I wanted to see his new work: a large painting composed of 72 panels. Impressive yes, but much more.

I stood in front of his large work, my eyes darting from frame to frame and back. I encountered the Bauhaus, ancient Egyptian and Greek shards of mystery and culture.

There were dark clowns, dancing woman, wraiths and old people lamenting loss; there were elegant, sinister, murderous old men and a terrified child or two; there were ancient songs and cries and even moments of mirth.

Music and city sounds of late 20th century crowded night-time urban streets, with people begging to be allowed to live, with birds of prey and birds of hope winging through frames as if all the stories of humanity and all the suffering of humanity were swarming in constricted places, in railroad stations on the tracks to the camps, worker’s halls – dingy and forlorn with labourer’s fractured dreams, and there was alienation, broken promises, isolation and more alienation.

It told me there was a film asking to be freed from this painting.
Now, this morning, 36 months later, I was thinking about EXILE,
the project (exhibition, film, theatre performance) which has emerged from his painting.

It’s a departure for me in that it’s a piece of cinema drawn together as a work of imagination. Even the interviews were imagined as part of a reflection about Exile.

Early on I came across music I was certain would become cornerstones of particular scenes, only to discover those pieces would become stepping stones in the progression of the film’s atmosphere and sensibilities
and were in the end, surpassed by other music, songs and noises.

What does this say except ‘trust the long emotion filled process’,
a process that should be introduced to aspiring artists.

In the meantime both Ricky and I had begun to work occasionally
with Cedoux Kadima, a Congolese photographer, film-maker, painter, writer and teacher in a pan European youth the arts program.

As the Exile ideas began to evolve we realised we wished to invite Cedoux into the project. To our delight he accepted and though all of the planning trust and mutual understanding developed.

I recently heard a quote by a Hungarian composer/Contessa from the late 1920’s. She had written that to be fully human one must encounter suffering. Whether self-imposed through one’s own sensibilities
or imposed by others on individuals or groups, they are the toxins that nurture social and personal resistance. They act as homeopathic provocations – providing a little of what kills you to heal your wounds.

EXILE – is a whole, and I am for the moment at peace with it,
knowing that I have managed to resist most of my didactic-ism,
eroded by working with and listening to my two partners.
I hope the exhibition will leave people in turmoil,
a turmoil which may force them to ask themselves
“what the hell am I signed up to in this economy?
What am I allowing this state to do in my name?”

Migration, Displacement and Belonging at CTPSR

Blog From Prof. Heaven Crawley

Author: heavencrawley

I’ve been involved in migration research for nearly 25 years, in fact from the time when no-one was much interested in migration. Although I keep hearing that we need a ‘proper debate’ on migration, from my perspective I’ve spent a huge proportion of my adult life talking about very little else. You can read my stuff in lots of different places and most is available free online rather than in academic articles, which are often inaccessible (both practically and in other ways….). This blog is a way of me downloading thoughts and ideas about what’s going on in the world of migration which can’t be done in 140 characters on Twitter and which I don’t have time and/or inclination and/or expertise, to write about in a longer piece. Calling the blog ‘musings’ makes it sounds at least partly reflective but be prepared for the occasional unadulterated rant… View all posts by heavencrawley

In The Absence of Truth. Long Gallery Black Swan Arts 16th June-17th July 2017

Black Swan Poster  June 17th -July 16th
Black Swan Poster June 17th -July 16th

IN THE ABSENCE OF TRUTH

The tragic thing about being lied to is realising you are not respected enough to be worth

receiving the truth – in the absence of collective truth,  words have no meaning…..

An exhibition of paintings and works on paper by

Ricky Romain and small works by Heather Fallows at

THE LONG GALLERY BLACK SWAN ARTS, 2, Bridge St, Frome, Somerset BA11 1BB

Tel: 01373 473980

Saturday June 17th –  Sunday July 16th

You and your friends are invited to a Preview Evening at the above address on

FRIDAY 16TH JUNE 6-8PM

and to the additional events listed below;

Thursday 29th June 7 pm a discussion evening – including a talk by Alison Harvey, barrister and Legal Director and former General Secratary at Immigration Law Practitioners Association.

Alison has for decades been informing and engaging with Parliamentarians, lawyers and the public about refugee and immigration law and policy.

Free admission

Saturday 15th July  3.30-5pm ‘Raga- that which colours the mind’ Tickets £8/£5

An afternoon recital by Ricky Romain-sitar, and Steve Scott-tambura and bass guitar.

*All events are in The Long  Gallery

We really hope you can make it to one/ all of these events. It will be great to see you we will send further reminders nearer the times

Any further queries tel 01297 35807 RR mobile 07905 714783 or

‘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.”

ALBERT CAMUS

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.

Bridport ‘Democracy’ Project.

You are invited to a celebration of the opening of the first public event for the Democracy in Bridport Project at the BAC Cafe and Foyer

on September 15th between 6pm and 8pm.

The Time Line and Exhibition of portraits of local people are on display with quotes taken from filmed interviews about their views of democracy and life.

The Time Line was created by Dave Rickard, Rebecca Garner, children from various schools and Robert Golden.

With thanks to Bridport Banners for their help.

In  the early Spring David Powell worked with students at Sir John Colfox School looking at Democracy through music and song writing.

In May David ran a mock election to coincide with the national election and to help pupils become more aware of the meaning of Democracy.

In May Ricky Romain and Heather Fallows working with pupils through their exhibition, A Painter’s Way of Coping, looked at Human Rights and Democracy through Art.

There will be refreshments.

Looking forward to seeing you there.

re-Appearances. Film by Robert Golden

This film is based upon the work created by Ricky Romain for his exhibition, ‘Marking Injustice’- A Painters Way of Coping which was hosted at Bridport Arts Centre from the 17th April -30th May 2015.

This was a collaborative exhibition with artist and partner Heather Fallows and photographer and film maker Robert Golden. www.robertgoldenpictures.com

‘Art is such a profound way of changing society it can be done without violence. As you get older it becomes more important to offer something to society. I want to change hearts and minds’

The film and exhibition was made possible with the generous assistance of ARTS COUNCIL ENGAND

To watch the film click on the blue tab below ‘Watch on Vimeo’. RR

Human Rights Event

Detail from ‘Lost Voices’ panel 1

In a time of uncertainty – how  can the arts play their part?

Talk by director of REDRESS – Carla Ferstman

*REDRESS is a human rights organisation that helps torture survivors obtain justice and reparation, it also works with survivors to help restore their dignity and to make torturers accountable.

AT BRIDPORT ART CENTRE ON SATURDAY MAY 16TH AT 2PM

Using the exhibition of paintings by Ricky Romain entitled ‘Marking Injustice – a painters way of coping’ as a forum for discussion, Carla will also discuss with an invited panel of eminent human rights barristers how their work can inform artists and how they can in turn be inspired by the arts. There will also be time for audience participation.

BRIDPORT ART CENTRE – www.bridport-arts.com Tel; 01308-424204

‘Marking Injustice’: A Painter’s Way of Coping

Big news! I’m delighted to announce that I’ve been awarded my first ever grant from Arts Council England for an exhibition at Bridport Arts Centre opening in six weeks’ time, with new paintings by me concerning human rights, new work by Heather Fallows and a new film about me and my work by Robert Golden.

We’re all keen to get people to participate in many ways and show how painting is still an inspiring art form that can highlight important issues and bring people together to discuss and debate.

‘Marking Injustice’: A Painter’s Way of Coping starts on Saturday, April 18.

See you there!

Bridport Arts Centre (solo exhibition) www.bridport-arts.com

Dates: April 18 – 30 May, 2015

Tuesday 5 May, 7pm. Alongside the showing of a film about the artist by film maker Robert Golden www.robertgoldenpictures.com

Exhibiting at Carnival of Monsters 2014

I’m taking part in Carnival of Monsters 2014 – Festival of Contemporary Art Nottingham

Dates: 11th of October – 25th October 2014

From Carnival of Monsters’ publicity: “Following on from a year off, due to the tram works in Chilwell, we’re back again in 2014 and looking to showcase both East Midlands artists, as well as as those from further afield.

We would love you to be involved in any capacity, from exhibiting to invigilating, helping to set up or even just to spread the word.

“Our last festival in 2012 was an incredible experience with well over 30 artists exhibiting at Bartons in their vast industrial spaces. Over the two weeks we had coverage on TV, Radio, Newspapers and a huge turnout of people.

“This year we are looking to build on our reputation exhibiting contemporary art, sculpture, installations, and photography as well as incorporating music and events aimed at kids.

“Please drop us an email on info@carnivalofmonsters.co.uk if you want any more info.”

‘From Different Perspectives’: an exhibition in Sidmouth

‘From Different Perspectives’

An exhibition of my paintings and works on paper, and Michael Gordon-Lee’s sculptures and paintings.

Kennaway House, Sidmouth EX10 8NG. Tel: 01395-515551

Private View: 2 May, 6-30 -8.30pm.

There’s also an Artist discussion evening on Friday 9 May, 6-30 – 8-30pm.

Image used in Redress annual report

‘Conscious and Unconscious Embrace’ (detail 1): a Ricky Romain image used for the Redress Annual Report 2012-13.

Redress (www.redress.org) work with victims of torture around the world. Please check out their website.

Art for Human Rights

Art for Human Rights

Raising awareness of human rights and violation of those rights is an essential part of Amnesty International’s work, and visual art is a powerful way to achieve this.

This is why during 2013 the local Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch Amnesty Group offered anyone an opportunity to show their support for the work of Amnesty by entering their artwork into an Open Exhibition, telling us what aspect of human rights has inspired them.

I have 2 paintings in this exhibition ‘Interrogation’ and ‘Manifesto for the Disappeared’. Both at Bournemouth Central Library.

Ricky Romain’s work comes home to Axminster

Exhibition of paintings and works on paper at The Marle Gallery, Axminster, 1 June – 29 June 2013

Ricky Romain is an Internationally respected human rights artist whose work can be found in the collections of globally important institutions including Amnesty International and the United Nations, as well as many private collections around the world.

His work is widely exhibited, recently being shown at Tooks Chambers in London; the chambers of the leading human rights barrister Michael Mansfield QC.

His work is visually powerful, created far more from his emotional response to the world around him, than any literal recording of fact.

The paintings in this solo exhibition are thought-provoking, at times controversial, and always possessed by a deep sense of introspection and peace.

In this solo exhibition at The Marle, Romain’s work comes home to Axminster where the artist lives and works.

Article from the Western Morning News on Saturday 1, June.

http://www.thisissomerset.co.uk/Ricky-s-art-puts-spotlight-world-s-oppressed/story-19154861-detail/story.html#axzz2V5y6h3Wo

Interpreting the Human Form

The workshop will begin with a short presentation looking at the portrayal of the human form in art, with specific focus given to the current exhibition by artist Ricky Romain.

A dry medium drawing workshop will follow (charcoal, oil pastel and pencil). Developing your own character studies you will explore ways to capture emotion, make a statement or tell a story.

Sunday 24 March, 10am – 4pm. Age: 14+

Tickets: £32 or £30 concession, includes all materials.

Artist’s talk and demonstration with Ricky Romain

Join the artist in the gallery for an insightful talk about his work, the challenges of his chosen subject matter and his experiences working with humanitarian charities.

A short demonstration of his working technique will follow in the education room.

Thursday 21 March, 6 – 7pm. Age: 16+

Free, booking essential.

Paint and Print with artist Ricky Romain

In this oil-based workshop you will consider the work of exhibiting artist Ricky Romain to create multiple mono prints and paintings on small canvases.

Create poignant images use expressive mark making, exploring emotions and humanitarian issues through figures and forms.

Looking at the themes of Ricky’s work you will consider how to capture topics or challenges that are close to you.

Saturday 2 March, 11am – 4pm. Age: 14+

Tickets: £35 or £33 concession, includes all materials.

State of Change exhibition by Ricky Romain

A challenging new art exhibition highlighting human rights issues is now on display in West Lothian.

The free State of Change exhibition by acclaimed south west England-based artist, Ricky Romain, is on show at the Gallery in Linlithgow Burgh Halls until 21 April 2013.

Romain’s work, which features in the collections of the United Nations and Amnesty International, endeavors to create art that reflects the complexity of political conflict surrounding prominent human rights issues.

This powerful yet poignant exhibition features figurative, textural paintings focused on humanitarian challenges on a global scale, with themes such as migration, asylum seeking, dignity, courage and desperation.

Dave King, Executive councillor for culture and leisure, said: “The Gallery at Linlithgow Burgh Halls has shown a variety of interesting exhibitions since it opened, and State of Change by Ricky Romain is another fine example.

“I’d encourage local residents to take the chance to view his striking and challenging work for free while it is on their doorstep.”

The free exhibition is open from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Saturday, at Linlithgow Burgh Halls, The Cross, Linlithgow, EH49 7AH. It is also open until 9pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and from 11am to 5pm on Sundays.

A number of associated workshops and talks have been organised to coincide with the State of Change exhibition.

Hear artist Ricky Romain discuss his work and techniques on Thursday 21 March, from 6pm to 7pm. Join Ricky for an insightful talk about his work, the challenges of his chosen subject matter and his experiences working with humanitarian charities, followed by a short demonstration of his working technique. This event is free but booking in advance is essential and is suitable for those aged 16 and over.

The Interpreting the Human Form workshop will look at the portrayal of the human form in art, with specific focus given to the current exhibition by artist Ricky Romain. A dry medium drawing workshop will follow (charcoal, oil pastel and pencil), to help participants develop their own character studies, and explore ways to capture emotion, make a statement or tell a story. The workshop takes place on Sunday 24 March, 10am to 4pm, for those aged 14 and over. Tickets: £32 or £30 concession, includes all materials

For more information or to book your place on a workshop, visit www.linlithgowburghhalls.co.uk or call 01506 282720.

8th February – 21st April 2013

State of Change

The Gallery, The Venue, Linlithgow, Scotland. EH49 7AH

This exhibition features Ricky Romain’s figurative textural paintings focused on humanitarian challenges on a global scale. Migration, asylum seeking, dignity, courage and desperation all combine in this powerful yet poignant show that depicts the various sides of human nature.

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.

www.biduk.org

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 rsvp@matrixlaw.co.uk 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. www.platforma.org.uk

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 Festival 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.

Illustrations

‘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).

‘Scapegoats’

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

Speakers:

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: h.crawley@swansea.ac.uk.

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.