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Indepth Arts News:

"Room: Delaine Le Bas"
2005-06-04 until 2005-07-03
London, , UK United Kingdom

For her first solo show, the Romany artist Delaine Le Bas will be transforming Transition into her own room, a magical fairytale cell, choc-a-bloc with her work and artefacts. During opening hours she will be resident in the gallery, making work in a performance that will be webcast on Transiton's website. For Le Bas, work and daily home life are inextricably linked. Like a magpie stealing glittering things and taking them to her nest, she utilises a multitude of different media - found objects, painting, film, drawing, embroidery, sculpture and video which she dis/assembles and re/arranges into a unique multi-layered, biographical bricolage all within the confines of her own home.

Delaine’s Romany Gypsy heritage is inherent within her work, which as a contemporary artist has been something of a double-edged sword, both fuelling her and holding her back. She is perceived by the art world as an outsider artist – naïve and folk orientated like some glittering bauble. However her work reclaims and subverts its own decorative ‘folklorist’ aesthetic by exploring her struggles to escape the confining stereotypes of the colourful Gypsy naïf. The ‘prettiness’ of her work draws viewers in only then to reveal what lurks beneath the surface – childhood terrors, mutated figurines and expressions of her own feelings of interior rage.

Delaine’s webcast ‘work’ performance from within Room is a satirical comment on her role within the outsider art community. Whilst she is being viewed by the gallery visitors she will be putting the viewer in the uncomfortable position of voyeur as the viewers are themselves watched via the web cast - voyeur turned subject.

The current political climate in the UK has included a particularly nasty xenophobic focus on Gypsies, with the tabloid press stirring up hysterical popularist fears. Delaine uses this swelling of confused feelings to confront people with their own fears, neither dismissing or compounding them but more waiving them in our faces.

Delaine Le Bas lives in Worthing and has shown extensively both in the UK and internationally, including at International Festival d'Art Singulier 2004 in Roquevaire, France and Error and Eros: Love Profane and Devine at the American Visionary Art Museum, Baltimore, USA. Her work was previously shown at Transition in 2004 in Girl on Girl alongside that of Stella Vine and Liz Neal. Room has been supported by The Arts Council, Thomas Acton, professor of Romani studies at The University of Greenwich, Cole and Co wallpapers and Madeira embroidery threads.

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