A Swindon Refugee Week special

20 June 2017

A thought-provoking installation challenging the perceptions of what it means to be British will be on display in Swindon during Refugee Week. 

The interactive installation - New Union Flag – is part of a project by internationally-renowned artist Gil Mualem Doron, that aims to re-imagine the Union Jack, acknowledging and celebrating the many communities that have contributed to the UK’s cultural legacy.

The artwork is coming to Swindon as part of a two-year tour funded by Arts Council England that has already engaged thousands of people through gallery exhibitions, cultural events, festivals, rallies and workshops across the UK.

The installation will be on display at a private view at Artiste’s Number Nine Gallery, Theatre Square, Swindon, on Wednesday June 21, from 7pm. The event also boasts Somalian oud music by local musician Sugal.

Nicola Johnson, Development Worker for Swindon City of Sanctuary, who are hosting the event, said: “We’re immensely proud and excited to be hosting internationally renowned artist, Gil Mualem Doran, in Swindon Refugee Week 2017.”   

The celebrated artist, who has exhibited at the Tate Modern and Saatchi Gallery, will also be working with three schools to create their own alternative union flags on Thursday, 22 June - Robert Le Kyng Primary, Drove Primary, and Lydiard Park Academy. 

The schools event manager for Refugee Week, Cristina Bennett said: “We were overwhelmed with the level of enthusiasm for Gil’s popular workshops. Unfortunately, we could only choose three on a first come, first served basis.” 

To celebrate Refugee Week, the Gallery will also be displaying ‘A Shared Future’ - an exhibition showing off paintings by asylum seekers and refugees.

The exhibit is being managed by local artists Paul Exton and Rachel Pryor, who run workshops at The Harbour Project in Swindon.  

The sessions are funded by People’s Health Trust through its Active Communities programme, using money raised by HealthTotal, through The Health Lottery.  

Mr Exton said: “Hopefully the art acts as a therapy to ease the mental and physical trauma suffered by people who have been forced to flee their homes due to war and persecution.  It’s very interesting working with people from such diverse cultures, who are adding so much to the vocabulary of our creative experience here in the UK.”

 ‘A Shared Future’ will be on display until Saturday 24 June.

Admission to the private view of New Union Flag is free, but tickets must be reserved at:  https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-new-union-flag-project-private-view-r...

 

To read more about Refugee Week 2017, click here

 

 

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