Talk: Gypsy Maker 4 - Cas Holmes & Dan Turner

30 September 2020

Online event with Isaac Blake and Daniel Baker 6-8pm //
6-8yp Digwyddiad ar-lein gydag Isaac Blake a Daniel Baker.

The Romani Cultural & Arts Company is proud to announce an evening of talks and discussions in association with g39. The event takes place to mark the end of the latest Gypsy Maker exhibition tour of new works by the artists Cas Holmes and Dan Turner. These exciting exhibitions of newly commissioned artworks are the latest in the RCAC’s groundbreaking Gypsy Maker project—an initiative that supports the development of innovative works by established and emerging Gypsy, Roma and Traveller artists. The Gypsy Maker project expands the work of the RCAC by continuing to engage GRT communities and the wider public in ongoing dialogue about the ways in which art continues to inform the lives of individuals and communities today.

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Cas Holmes trained in fine art and currently works with textiles and mixed media. She is the author of several books for Batsford Publications including Stitch Stories (2015) and Textile Landscape: Painting with Cloth (2018). The transient nature of Holmes’ work and process underpins her compulsion to engage with our built and natural landscapes—with people and place.

‘The opportunity to work with and be mentored by the Gypsy Maker 4 project allows me to pause to reflect on my identity and mixed heritage. With migration, changes in our working lives and increasing opportunities to travel, certainties about who we are and our place in the world are in flux.’ Cas Holmes

Dan Turner is an artist and educator. A Romani Gypsy, born in Dartford, Kent, Turner attended St Martins School of Art where he studied Sculpture. His work has recently appeared in FUTUROMA at the Venice Biennale in 2019. By using Transactional Objects which have significance across cultures, Turner examines how Gypsy, Roma and Traveller cultures meet and interact with the dominant culture.

‘Working with the RCAC on its Gypsy Maker project provides a unique opportunity that is rarely available, especially to Gypsy, Roma and Traveller groups. Its approach of tirelessly commissioning ground breaking work and projects has helped promote understanding about GRT communities. In the process it has changed people’s lives, including mine.’ Dan Turner

Isaac Blake is Executive Director of the Romani Cultural & Arts Company in Cardiff, UK, which is supported by a variety of major funders and government departments. RCAC is now celebrating its 10th anniversary. He is a proud Romani Gypsy and has worked as a professional dancer and choreographer. Isaac was Dance Curator to the RomArchive the international digital archive for art of the Roma.

“I am proud once again to provide a platform for Gypsy, Roma and Traveller artists to showcase the best of our community’s culture and heritage. The resulting work from Gypsy Maker 4 is illuminating and I know that my community and the wider public will benefit enormously from it.”

Daniel Baker is a Romani Gypsy born in Kent, UK in 1961. An artist, curator and theorist, he holds a PhD on the subject of Gypsy aesthetics from the Royal College of Art, London. Baker curated FUTUROMA at the 58th International Art Exhibition at the Venice Biennale 2019. Publications include We Roma: A Critical Reader in Contemporary Art (2013) and Ex Libris (2009). Baker‘s work can be found in collections worldwide.

“The pioneering work of the Romani Cultural and Arts Company in supporting Gypsy, Roma and Traveller artists is unparalleled. Their Gypsy Maker project is unique worldwide in commissioning new bodies of work by GRT artists thereby enabling the production of new knowledge from an underrepresented group and thus making a valuable contribution to international contemporary art and cultural discourse.” Dr Daniel Baker