Eva Sajovic, the award-winning artist who is both photographer and former illustrator, is mounting an exciting new exhibition entitled “Be-Longing: Travellers’ Stories, Travellers’ Lives” from 4 February -20 March 2010 at 198 Contemporary Arts and Learning. Amongst the pieces exhibited by the lawyer-turned-photographer will be art featuring her work with Basildon’s traveller community. Many readers will be very familiar with the threat of forced eviction which hangs over the established but unlawful traveller community at Crays Hill and the complex and emotional arguments that are not yet resolved peaceably or satisfactorily.
You can read more about the exhibition by taking a look at the official press release:
If you would like to know more about Eva, there is a great profile piece on the F2 Freelance Photographer website which describes her journey into photography and the issues that inspire and motivate her.
In February 2008, Eva mounted an exhibition in the European Commission’s 12 Star Gallery, organised by the Slovenian Embassy in London to mark Slovenia’s presidency of the European Union.
June 2009 was recognised as Gypsy Roma Traveller History Month (GRTHM) and Eva was commissioned by Southwark Council to produce a booklet to mark it. The resulting publication was Pavee Widden: Travellers Talking an astonishing and eye-opening collection of first-hand accounts of the lives of Gypsies, Roma and Travellers. It is not long – and is worth reading.
The Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities are are among the most misunderstood in the United Kingdom. Events such as Eva’s exhibition are vital if we are to foster a constructive dialogue that builds trust, co-operation and an understanding of mutual needs.
I hope I am able to get there. I hope you are too.
I have met two or three residents from the crays Hill area and it is a very emotive subject. One acquintance and his wife are so incensed and venomous in their feelings about the travellers that they cannot see past the construct of them as ‘the enemy’. I hope even if it is in a small way such wonderful exhibitions have a positive impact and eventually reason, compassion and commonsense will prevail.