Dan Turner, Artist

The Romani Cultural and Arts Company 36th profile will be of Dan Turner

Dan Turner is an artist and educator from London, a Romani born in Kent. Dan trained at St Martins School of Art where he completed a BA Honours in Fine Art (Sculpture). He works across mediums including sculpture, video and painting .

Dan’s practice explores the interaction between Romany and mainstream culture. He examines themes of commercial interchange in Romani life through transactional use of iconic objects such as pegs, caravans and wooden flowers.
He is interested in how human life can be defined and archived through the objects they make and how these objects communicate across timelines through a shared ‘material’ culture and how they articulate that culture to a wider audience, particularly in relation to the Romany community. He sees his art as a reclamation of public space – where once there was a visible Romani presence now there is an absence. He believes there is a need to reset the transactional balance between Traveller and non Traveller, establish dialogue and alter entrenched attitudes, a “taking back of the camp”.

Dan has worked with the Wellcome Trust Reading Room, and Chisenhale Art Place on collaborative projects which examine traditional Romany ideas of luck and healing. In these projects, Dan worked with small groups to develop art related to the use of good luck objects and their use in modern society.

Dan is currently exhibiting at the 58th Venice Biennale with his work the “Seeds of Healing”.which builds on research undertaken at the Wellcome Foundation around Romani herbalism and healing. This will attempt to change preconceptions of Travellers and particularly Traveller sites which are often seen as daunting or forbidding places by non Travellers.