Have you seen the Travellers?
In addition to her exhibition in Eastside Projects’ main gallery Rajni Perera has made a large-scale painting on the bank of the River Rea, the small main river that runs South West to North East through the centre of Birmingham. The work is behind the Syrian House Restaurant which is at 25–27 Horton Square, B12 0YR, close to the Central Mosque. You can see it from the bridge on Belgrave Middleway.
In the painting two families in boats travel through water carrying their most important possessions, including cloth, food and vessels. The six adults and a baby are all wearing brightly coloured clothes which Ranji describes as ‘immigrant clothing’ a mishmash of things made all over the world, affordable clothing which might be handed down through families or made by friends.
Further down the river, pupils at Chandos Primary School are able to see an eighth figure who is either a scout, a straggler or perhaps just another Traveller making their own way.
Alongside projects by Amy Ching-Yan Lam, Jon McCurley and Thenjiwe Niki Nkosi, Rajni’s project is part of our programme for the Birmingham 2022 Festival. This programme is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Arts Council England, Canada House and Canada Council for the Arts.