Exploring displacement, identity and social perception
In an explorative season spanning six months, Solent Showcase Gallery presents two exhibitions examining different experiences of displacement and its impact on identity, belonging and social perception.
The first exhibition, 'Narratives of Displacement' (24th January – 21st March 2020) explores the use of art as a form to help refugee women tell their stories. The pieces in the exhibition were created by Iraqi and Syrian women who have found refuge in Germany, the UK and Jordan.
The second, 'Displaced: Salon of Disability' (10th April – 13th June 2020), is an exciting transformation of the gallery with disabled artist-in-residence Rachel Gadsden, considering displacement from the perspective of disability.
Exhibition 1: NARRATIVES OF DISPLACEMENT
24th January – 21st March 2020
Created by Iraqi and Syrian women who have found refuge in Germany, the UK and Jordan in 2018, the pieces in this exhibition examine how refugee women negotiate their identities and senses of belonging through shaping social relations, challenging religious boundaries and facilitating community belonging and integration within their new diasporas.
The art was created in collaboration with University of Birmingham academic Dr Yafa Shanneik and internationally-renowned artist Dr Rachel Gadsden, who was assisted by Palestinian artist Amna Ali Hussein. The exhibition is part of Shanneik’s research project, funded by the British Academy and Council for British Research in the Levant.
In a series of art workshops with the refugee women and families in 2018, Gadsden used the ‘body mapping’ technique, an artistic tool for creating life-sized images, that traces the contours of the individual’s body. Through the workshops the women were able to counter gender-based narratives of fragility and vulnerability and develop narratives of strength, courage and empowerment.
Exhibition 2: DISPLACED: SALON OF DISABILITY
10th April – 13th June 2020
Drawing inspiration from the original French ‘salons’ of the 18th century, which became hotbeds of discussion and pivotal sources of revolutionary ideas and discourse, ‘Salon of Disability’ will see the gallery transformed by artist-in-residence, Rachel Gadsden into a contemporary artists’ ‘salon’ exploring the realities of cultural displacement of disabled people.
The exhibition will be a continuation of Solent Showcase Gallery’s socially-engaged curatorial programme, offering the chance for individuals and groups, whether disabled or non-disabled, main-stream or marginalised, to engage in art discussions, workshops and cultural activities.
The ever-evolving exhibition will be multi-stranded: transforming the gallery into a working art installation; forming experimental performances; and creating space for partnership and discussion of displacement and the ‘lived experience of disability’.
The ‘Salon of Disability’ is a potential model for a more permanent, sustainable salon in Southampton. Gadsden hopes to extend the impact of the project with an ongoing strategy and network where emerging disabled and marginalised artists in and around the Southampton region will be supported and empowered to build and share their practices.