History of Cardiff’s Gypsy and traveller communities explored in new exhibition

May 30, 2012 2 Comments »

Cardiff's Rover Way Gypsy site in the 1970s.

A new exhibition looking at the history of Gypsy and traveller communities in Cardiff will open at the Cardiff Story museum on Friday.

“Pots n Pans: A Cardiff Gypsy and Traveller Way of Life” has been organised by The Romani Cultural and Arts Company to explore the traditions of Gypsies and travellers in the city.

There will be photographs, objects and stories about what it was like growing up on the city’s Shirenewton and Rover Way Gypsy sites now and in the past, and details about travellers’ traditions such as cooking and food, and why china always takes pride of place in trailers and modern day wagons.

Pots and jugs made by children aged five to 14-years-old at the Shirenewton Gypsy site’s home club will also go on display at the exhibition, and it is hoped some of the children will come along to see the launch on Friday.

All the artefacts will be displayed in the Cardiff Story’s city showcase exhibition space.

Lillie Bramley, from The Romani and Cultural Arts Company, said: “We’ll be looking at the heritage of Gypsy travellers. It’s about breaking down the stereotypes and celebrating the Gypsy culture.”

The “Pots n Pans” exhibition will run from Friday until August 28.

From June 16-30 there will be a second exhibition at the Cardiff Story museum by international Romany artist Delaine Le Bas, and both exhibitions coincide with Gypsy Roma Traveller History Month.

This will include a national symposium at Cardiff’s City Hall on June 22.


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  1. Guy Gibson June 18, 2012 at 7:40 pm - Reply

    I think Lillie Bramley has done an exceptional job with this exhibition.
    Thoroughly recommended.

  2. @SeligLeisure June 22, 2012 at 4:17 pm - Reply

    I thought it would be interesting to learn more about Cardiff’s Roma and Traveller communities, through an exhibition which continues at the Cardiff Story in the Old Library until August 28th.

    I arrived at 10 am. No signs outside the building or inside to indicate the exhibition is taking place.
    I discover it only opens at 11, I should have checked. Back at 11 and the first floor is empty. A few old photos, some artefacts and paintings, nothing explained very much and much of it baffling.

    For a while I thought the blank large screens under blue gazebos was some sort of artistic comment on the silent and unseen community in a fragile environment – but then decided that they must be intended to display something. It took till 1120 to find someone and to get the films displayed.

    Both screens showed the same strange 2 minute silent film. I could see the effort that had gone into producing it, but it said little if anything to me.

    A Cardiff Story staff member told me there was another Roma exhibition in the basement. Again, no signage at all. On entering the ‘Cardiff Lab’, I thought I must be in the wrong place. But the exhibition was tucked away in the furthest corner of the floor. Mostly consisting of children’s arts and crafts, there was a short ‘oral history’ film.

    Unfortunately, the lady narrating her past had a very strong accent spoken mostly over animation and a music track – the result was that I couldn’t understand very much of what was said.

    I’m sorry to say this to people who must have worked hard to produce these exhibitions, but it was mostly a wasted opportunity to explain one of our minorities to the wider Cardiff community.

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