Daniel Baker’s ‘SHINE’ to be hosted by National Assembly For Wales

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This exhibition of commissioned artworks by the Romani artist Daniel Baker examines the aesthetic power and wider influence of Romani visuality across the boundaries of culture and language. The Romani Cultural & Arts Company is proud to announce that the exhibition will move to Ty Hywel at The National Assembly for Wales in September 2013.

Rosemary Butler AM, Presiding Officer is sponsoring the move to the assembly. Rosemary said ‘I was honoured to be the keynote speaker at the opening of the Shine exhibition at the Newport Centre in June, and I am delighted that Daniel Baker’s artwork is now on display at the National Assembly for Wales for all to enjoy.” Daniel Baker said “The Shine project continues my exploration of Gypsy visual culture; in particular the  importance of décor as an expression of culture, home and family life within GRT communities.”

Gypsies, Roma and Travellers have developed a keen visual sensibility in response to their collective experience of life on the margins of society. The complex vocabulary embedded within everyday Romani artefacts, home décor and textiles continues to play an important role in the lives of these communities and their interactions with the wider world. The Shine project calls for renewed recognition of the value of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities and their potential to influence broader social and cultural innovation. This project is supported by The Arts Council of Wales and commissioned by the Romani Cultural and Arts Company who would like to thank Rosemary Butler AM, Presiding Officer for  her generosity and her sponsorship of the move to Ty Hywel in September.

Shine                                                               Daniel Baker www.danielbaker.net

The Shine projects takes as its starting point a key quality within Romani aesthetics; shiny-ness. As well as emphasising the integration of artistic practice within the Romani home and daily life, the project sets out to examine the boundaries between art and craft practices. By questioning hierarchies of art objects the project draws parallels with questions concerning social equality.

Swarm: found objects, mixed media, variable size, 2013. Swarm consists of a collection of key rings attached to a single key, some bearing the name Laura. We construct a narrative of Laura’s life, travels and affiliations from our interpretation of these objects. The key rings form a close and excessive grouping; their massed form offering a number of associations including: Keepsakes, souvenirs; journeying, nomadism, migration, oversubscription, mascots, talismans, charms. 

Charm series: (pumpkin, pliers, infant, globe, fish, mirrorball): silver and gold leaf with enamel on clear acrylic, 100cm x 70cm, 2013. The Charm series represents individual elements from the Swarm installation. By focusing on a single key ring each of these works elevates the status of that which is usually overlooked to that which is carefully observed and looked to for meaning; meanings which the original objects possess but which often go unobserved.

Survival blanket: silvered vinyl, 165cm diameter, 2013. Survival blanket is made from shredded foil emergency blankets. This work fuses the functional and the ornamental to evoke the often concurrent dualities of comfort and danger, pleasure and risk. The piece also examines hierarchies of artistic practices by using domestic craft techniques to convey complex conceptual propositions.

Brace: gold leaf on ceramic with cord, 45cm x 40cm, 2013. Brace consists of two gilded ornamental cockerels hanged by the neck from a tasselled cord; in the manner of game birds. This work examines the ways in which the ornamental often references more unpleasant activities and highlights preoccupations with wildlife which regularly appear within Romani décor.

This project is commissioned by the Romani Cultural and Arts Company.

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Sglein                                                         Daniel Baker www.danielbaker.net

Yn ganolog i’r prosiect Sglein (Shine) y mae thema sy’n flaenllaw iawn mewn aestheteg Romani; disgleirdeb. Yn ogystal â phwysleisio’r modd y caiff elfennau artistig sydd yng nghartrefi a bywyd dyddiol y Romani eu hintegreiddio, ceisia’r prosiect edrych ar y ffiniau sy’n bodoli rhwng arferion celfyddol ac arferion crefft. Drwy gwestiynu hierarchiaeth gwrthrychau celf mae’r prosiect yn gwneud cymariaethau â chwestiynau sy’n ymwneud â chydraddoldeb cymdeithasol.

Haid (Swarm): gwrthrychau y cafwyd hyd iddynt, cyfryngau cymysg, meintiau amrywiol, 2013. Mae Swarm yn cynnwys casgliad o gylchynau allweddi sydd wedi’u cysylltu ag un allwedd, ac mae’r enw Laura ar rai o’r cylchynau. Byddwn yn llunio stori o fywyd, teithiau a chysylltiadau Laura o’r modd y byddwn yn dehongli’r gwrthrychau hyn. Mae’r cylchynau allweddi yn ffurfio grŵp clwstwr clos; ac mae eu ffurf más yn cynnig nifer o gysylltiadau, gan gynnwys: Cofroddion, nwyddau er cof; teithiau, crwydro, ymfudo, cyd-gefnogaeth, masgot, talismonau, swyndlysau. 

Cyfres y Swyndlysau (Charm) : (pwmpen, pleiars, plentyn bach, glôb, pysgodyn, pêl o ddrychau bach): dail arian ac aur gydag enamel ar acrylig clir, 100cm wrth 70cm, 2013. Mae cyfres y Swyndlysau yn cynrychioli elfennau unigol o’r gosodiad Haid. Drwy ganolbwyntio ar un cylchyn allweddi mae’r gwaith hwn yn codi statws nwyddau sy’n cael eu hanwybyddu fel arfer i fod yn bethau sy’n cael eu hastudio’n ofalus i chwilio am ystyr ynddynt; ystyr sydd i’r gwrthrychau gwreiddiol ond nad oes neb wedi sylwi arno.

Blanced oroesi : finyl arian, 165cm ar ei draws, 2013. Gwnaed y flanced oroesi o flancedi argyfwng ffoil wedi’u malu. Mae hwn yn cyfuno gwaith addurniadol a gwaith ymarferol i ysgogi atgofion deuol cyfochrog sy’n cynnwys esmwythdra a pherygl, pleser a risg. Mae’r darn hefyd yn astudio hierarchiaeth arferion artistig gan ddefnyddio technegau crefftau domestig i gyfleu darluniau syniadol cymhleth.

Brês (Brace): deilen aur ar serameg â rheffyn, 45cm wrth 40cm, 2013. Mae’r gwaith Brês yn cynnwys dau geiliog euraidd addurniadol sy’n hongian wrth eu gyddfau o reffyn taslog; yn null adar hela. Mae’r gwaith hwn yn edrych ar ffyrdd y bydd nwyddau addurniadol yn aml yn cyfeirio at weithgareddau sydd ychydig yn amhleserus ac yn tynnu sylw at y diddordeb sydd mewn bywyd gwyllt sydd i’w weld mor aml mewn addurniadau Romani.

Comisiynwyd y prosiect hwn gan Gwmni Celf a Diwylliant Romani

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