My silverpoint drawing, ‘Empire Day’, is about to be on show in an exhibition in New York. The exhibition is called ‘The Seventh View’ and has been organised in partnership between the ING Discerning Eye and the C24 Gallery in Chelsea, New York.
My drawing is based on a small group-photograph found at an antique fair. The picture was taken in Margate in the 1930s and, judging from the presence of ‘Britannia’ in the centre of the group, the occasion is probably an ‘Empire Day’ event.
Here we see men dressed as women, people ‘blacked-up’, people made-up to look like funny foreigners and funny working-class people, and there is even a person dressed up as a member of the Klu Klux Klan! Here are people, unselfconsciously, expressing themselves in fancy dress costumes. But their choices of costumes, perhaps, express even more about the prevailing cultural attitudes of their time.
This is one of a number of drawings based on the same small photograph. Margate is presently experiencing ‘Cultural Regeneration’ and the UK is sadly leaving the EU. Any similarities between the people depicted in my drawing and anyone presently living in Margate are probably coincidental.
There are two exhibitions opening at the C24 Gallery on the 30th January: ‘You Belong Here’ (works by Orit Ben Shitrit and Nirit Takele) and ‘The Seventh View’ (exhibtion in partnership between the ING Discerning Eye and the C24 Gallery). They run until 23rd April.
The C24 Gallery is to be found at: 560 W 24th Street, New York, NY 10011