Around the Yog art exhibition a great success say artists and organisers

24 September 2021
Around the Yog art exhibition a great success say GRT artists and organisers

‘Around the Yog’ is an exhibition inspired by an exciting community project led by Brighton based charity Friends, Families & Travellers and supported by the National Lottery Community Fund. The ‘Around the Yog’ community project facilitates traditional skill sharing and intergenerational learning within Gypsy, Traveller and nomadic communities in West Sussex. The Travellers' Times went along to find out more!

Vardo painted by Sarah Harvey, fire-pit by blacksmith Jake Bowers, chainsaw carvings by Rory and Maddie

“The exhibition was such a beautiful opportunity to share the work of some very talented individuals with the wider public,” said Around the Yog curator Martha Ostick. “It really highlighted the rich and varied skills of the diverse Travelling communities.”

Around the Yog curator Martha Ostick with artist Gareth Lock

“We have been approached by organisations in other areas to bring the exhibition to other counties, this could create more possibilities for the "Around the Yog" exhibition to grow and develop and enable more artists and crafts-people to showcase their work and also raise awareness of some of the beauty that Travelling people bring to this country,” added Martha Ostick.

Imogen Brightmoon and her weavings

Traditionally, Travelling people have utilised their crafts and skills to make a living. These skills are passed down from generation to generation.

Work by tinsmiths James Collins and Tom McDonnell
Work by tinsmiths James Collins and Tom McDonnell (c) Melissa Gunasena

For hundreds of years this has been an important part of British history and industry. The ‘Around the Yog’ project aims to continue this skill sharing and harvest positive relationships between diverse groups of people within Gypsy, Traveller and nomadic communities.

Ella Mae

This eclectic exhibition brought together traditional crafts and contemporary artworks from a selection of some of the country’s most talented Gypsy, Roma, Traveller and nomadic individuals, and provided a space to celebrate their skills and an opportunity to share their work with the wider community.

Poem by much-missed Romani campaigner and writer Ryalla Duffy and sketch by Deneise Malcolm (c) Melissa Gunesena

All of the work shown in this exhibition illustrates beautifully the exhibitors’ wide range of artisan skills and also expresses the sometimes hidden cultures and heritage of the wide and varied nomadic communities of Britain and Ireland which is currently under threat of being criminalised by new anti-trespass laws in the UK Government’s Police Bill.

A rocking horse crafted and painted by Gareth Lock

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(All photographs © Lauren Matthews except when credited otherwise)

Curator Martha Ostick with her mum Scarlette