By Irene Gaitirira
Published January 12, 2016
How does it feel like to be a migrant seeking a new life in Europe?
While news journalists may answer this question, a two-day exhibition gives the art lover the opportunity to experience and not just observe what it feels to be a migrant.
The London-based videography team, SpheresVR, have documented the landing in Europe of incoming refugees. Using gyroscopic 360-degree immersive video and Oculus Rift technology, guests will be invited to â€˜experienceâ€™ the condition and plight of the migrant.
The exhibition shall take place January 22-23, 2016 during ARTROOMS 2016. Curated and hosted by Le Dame Art Gallery at the MeliÃ¡ White House, the show is touted as being â€˜Londonâ€™s premiere event for independent artists.â€™ Here, up-and-coming artists exhibit their talent to leading buyers, agents and journalists; all for free. After all, this is one of Londonâ€™s most unmissable art events. SpheresVRâ€™s form of technology has revolutionised the art world more comprehensively than any other medium before.
Back to the event at hand. It is called Refuge. And it is a collective exhibition. It uses different approaches, various voices, film, photography, sculpture and installation in responding to the migrant crisis.
As works displayed within Refuge require the participation of the viewer, art lovers shall find themselves transported to Lesvos and Greece through ARTROOMS 2016 very special, entirely immersive exhibition experience.
Refuge will encourage you to empathise and contemplate. You will be left mesmerised, having gained a new depth of insight and understanding.
The project is in support of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS), a dedicated charity saving lives at sea by providing professional search and rescue to people who are in distress.
But Refuge shall be much more than mere technology. There shall be five creative people harnessing it in the service of humanity.
So who are the exhibiting artists?
Estabrak Al-Ansari, a former refugee from Iraq, was raised in London. She is a visual artist and filmmaker. She has exhibited in renowned galleries in Britain, winning a prize for her underwater photographic series, â€˜Omanius Under Water.â€™ Her work examines the relationship between the body, the self, dress, movement, conformity, and the taboo concepts of sexuality, privilege, oppression, power, and understanding.
Sweden-based Evar Hussayini is a multi-disciplinary artist from West Kurdistan. Her mixed media techniques explore space, shape and form through depictions of the female body and face. She highlights the way in which identity is affected by surroundings, memory, and culture. Hussayini dismantles social stigmas which reduce women to specific, rigid archetypes. Studying women in war zones, from the religiously-rebellious to the culturally-conventional, and from the veiled to the unveiled, Hussayini honours women in all their diversity.
Manja McCade is a young German artist. Her style is innovative, colourful, and dynamic. It responds to recent refugee crisis, bringing to life the reality of what many refugees go through in seeking sanctuary. McCadeâ€™s work, â€˜Nowhere To Goâ€™, will feature in the exhibition. â€˜Nowhere To Goâ€™ is a pictorial representation of the Syrian refugee crisis. It speaks of no strength in numbers and of the sacrifice of many vibrant human beings at the behest of supposed paternalistic pretenders.
Zolta Asta, from Hungary, constructs brave and thought-provoking installations which investigate the role of the human soul in todayâ€™s technocratic society. His work belongs to a unique praxis of visual arts that explore the brutal traumas of the 20th and 21st century. Floating in an interminable space, his work exists in a matrix defined by a continued interaction between the past, the present, and the future.
Enrique Verdugo is from Afghanistan. His photographs, installations and films create a space for people to enjoy the power of audio-visual works. Verdugoâ€™s work deals with the human body and its habitat. His compositions take on the form of ephemeral installations, using props to create fictional and disrupted narratives. He explores â€˜Memory and Migration,â€™ through his film, ELINKINE. He reflects on the perpetual need for a new start, the constant quest for a better and brighter economic future.
So where do you go for the show?
This collective exhibition shall be at MeliÃ¡ White House, Albany ST, Regentâ€™s Park, London NW1 3UP, England.