Barry art exhibition celebrates Gypsy, Roma and Traveller cultures

A newly-opened exhibition in Barry aims to celebrate the rich artistry of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller cultures across Wales, as well as raise awareness of the discrimination faced by members of these communities.

Based in the Art Central Gallery inside Barry's Town Hall, the free exhibition features specially commissioned artwork by Gypsy, Roma and Traveller artists.

As well as showcasing innovative works in a variety of mediums, organisers hope that the exhibition can build bridges between communities.

"A lot of the work today is very much about inviting people from other communities that might misunderstand our own, that might stereotype us, that might not sort of see us in the kind of beautifully human way that our artworks show us," said Corrina Eastwood, one of the exhibiting artists of 'Gypsy Maker 5'.

Gypsy Maker 5 provides a platform for artists like Corrina Eastwood to develop their practise and showcase new bodies of work.

Organisers are inviting people to enjoy the art on display, take part in workshops and learn about the artistic heritage and traditions of cultures that may have been otherwise unfamiliar to them.

Another of the exhibiting artists is Imogen Bright Moon, a craftswoman and weaver. She says she aims to explore her Gypsy heritage through her mother."I think the Gypsy community have that instinct to create, make, and express, so I think an artwork is just a wonderful vehicle for that mode of expression and conversation," she said.

"We can all talk around a piece of art."

One of the pieces shows a contemporary flamenco dance that explores wider societal themes.

Gypsies, Roma and Travellers are "amongst the most marginalised groups in our society," according to the Welsh Government.

This is due to the discrimination, inequality and a lack of opportunities often faced by members of these communities.

Curator of Gypsy Maker, Dr Daniel Baker, says that he hopes the Barry exhibition will feed into the project's wider social purpose.

He said: "This is a good starting point for us to make our culture more widely known and also consequently more accepted by society at large."

The exhibition has been supported by the Arts Council of Wales and commissioned by the Romani Cultural and Arts company.