Arts Council of Wales project gets the green light!

The Factory, Jenkin Street, Porth, CF39 9PP – Monday to Friday 10am – 4pm

22 April - 22 May 2020

The Romani Cultural & Arts Company is proud to announce two new exhibitions of works by the artists Cas Holmes and Dan Turner. This exciting installation of specially commissioned artworks is the latest in our 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 with the wider public in ongoing dialogue about the ways in which art continues to inform the lives of individuals and communities today. 

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). As part of her practice Holmes works on community collaborations developing a range of projects based on environmental themes from the natural and observed world. The transient nature of Holmes’ work and process underpins her compulsion to engage with our built and natural landscapes—with people and place. The overlooked details of daily life which reveal commonalities across communities continue to inform her particular take on the world.

‘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 is in flux.’ Cas Holmes

Dan Turner is an artist and educator. A Romani Gypsy, born in Dartford, Kent, Turner achieved a BA Hons Degree in Sculpture from St Martins School of Art. His work 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 migration maps of Roma diasporas and using traditional crafts and occupations such as peg and wooden flower making, and fortune telling Turner re-imagines Roma past, present and future to challenge mainstream culture’s view of our Roma identities. 

‘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

“It’s great that the Rhondda is going to host this exhibition of art. I’m pleased to be able to support the Gypsy Maker project and I hope that many local people turn out to see it.” Rhondda AM Leanne Wood.

“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

‘We at Art in the Attic, The Robert Maskrey Gallery are very pleased to be curating such a prestigious exhibition as Gypsy Maker 4, here in the Rhondda Valleys. We look forward to engaging with the artists and a successful cultural event.’ Anne Culverhouse Evans, Valleys Kids, The Factory.

The Romani Cultural & Arts Company invites you to see the works and meet the artists at the opening of this new exhibition by Cas Holmes and Dan Turner.