artist / participant
Opening Hours - Friday – Sunday 1-6pm
For her first solo show, the Romany artist Delaine Le Bas will be transforming Transition into her own room, a magical fairytale cell, choc-a-bloc with her work and artefacts. During opening hours she will be resident in the gallery, making work in the corner of the room, a performance evoking an archetypal ‘imprisoned woman’ image straight out of The Grimm’s Rumplestiltskin. Room examines the duality of the work/creative space inherent within artist’s rooms, both confirming and dispelling the mystical connotations of artist’s fictive lives whilst at the same time touching on the political concerns of Romany / Traveller homes and the home as site of women’s creative work. For Le Bas herself, work and daily home life are inextricably linked. Like a magpie stealing glittering things and taking them to her nest, she utilises a multitude of different media - found objects, painting, film, drawing, embroidery, sculpture and video which she dis/assembles and re/arranges into a unique multi-layered, biographical bricolage all within the confines of her own home.
Delaine’s Romany Gypsy heritage is inherent within her work, which as a contemporary artist has been something of a double-edged sword, both fuelling her and holding her back. She is perceived by the art world as an outsider artist – naïve and folk orientated like some glittering bauble. However her work reclaims and subverts its own decorative ‘folklorist’ aesthetic by exploring her struggles to escape the confining stereotypes of the colourful Gypsy naïf. The ‘prettiness’ of her work draws viewers in only then to reveal what lurks beneath the surface – childhood terrors, mutated figurines, obscene language and sexual misdemeanours and expressions of her own feelings of interior rage.
Delaine’s ‘work’ performance from within Room will be webcast via the gallery’s website in a satirical comment on her role within the outsider art community. Whilst she is being viewed by the gallery visitors she will be putting the viewer in the uncomfortable position of voyeur as the viewers are themselves watched via the web cast - voyeur turned subject.
The current political climate in the UK has included a particularly nasty xenophobic focus on Gypsies, with the tabloid press stirring up hysterical popularist fears. Delaine uses this swelling of confused feelings to confront people with their own fears, neither dismissing or compounding them but more waiving them in our faces.
Delaine Le Bas lives in Worthing and has shown extensively both in the UK and internationally, including at International Festival d'Art Singulier 2004 in Roquevaire, France and Error and Eros: Love Profane and Devine at the American Visionary Art Museum, Baltimore, USA. Her work was previously shown at Transition in 2004 in Girl on Girl alongside that of Stella Vine and Liz Neal.
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Delaine Le Bas