Arts Featured General Undegun

Objects of Meaning

Posted by mike

Refugee Week was first launched in 1998 and takes place in June every year. It is a UK-wide programme of arts, cultural and educational events and activities that celebrates the contribution of refugees to the UK and promotes better understanding of why people seek sanctuary.

As part of Refugee Week activities at Oriel Wrecsam gallery, Wrexham based artist and photographer Sue McGrane took photographs of the hands of local asylum seekers and refugees holding an object. They had been invited to bring along an object that was precious to them. Each person was asked why the object was important to them. One photograph shows a pair of empty hands and the gentleman said: “because this is what I had left, after leaving my country”.

The photographs hint at the many tragic, often brutal, circumstances that forced people to flee their homes and countries. Many often long and arduous journeys were made, in order to seek asylum in other countries, including the UK.

The images now make up a thought provoking and moving exhibition that helps to dispel myths and misconceptions about refugee and asylum seekers in the UK. Instead they show how they have risked much and possibly lost everything, in a bid for survival.

The refugees and asylum seekers have just a few meagre possessions that they hold so dear, as they try to rebuild their lives.

This work is a collaboration between Wrexham County Borough Council’s Community Diversity team and Oriel Wrecsam gallery. With many thanks to the artist Sue McGrane and the refugees and asylum seekers that gave their time and stories.

This exhibition will be on show at Undegun throughout Refugee Week, from 16 -21 June, and will also tour across South Wales at the following venues:

Tuesday 17th – 19 June
Cardiff Story museum
The Old Library
The Hays
CF10 1BH

June 20th, 10am – 3pm
Newport Leisure Centre
1 Kingsway
NP20 1UH

Saturday 21st June, 12 – 5pm
Wales Millennium Centre
Bute Place
Cardiff Bay
CF10 5AL

For more information please contact Oriel Wrecsam (01978 292 093)

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