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Photography Exhibition: Jon Tonks and Czesław Siegieda
May 24 at 8:00 am 5:00 pm
An event every day that begins at 8:00 am, repeating until 29th June 2019
Stories of Home
Artist: Jon Tonks
A portrait of the Central and Eastern European communities living in Sandwell, home to the biggest Polish population in the UK. The photographs were taken during a two year period against a backdrop of divisive geopolitical rhetoric following the 2016 EU referendum. Thanks to their generosity, the project also reveals much about the cultural identity and hopes and fears for the future of each subject. The series explores a question that reaches beyond borders: what binds a community to make a place home?
Artist: Czesław Siegieda
From 1970 until the 80s, Czesław Siegieda photographed members of the Polish community based in the Midlands, portraying them as protagonists of a small ‘theatrical world’ in search of a lost spiritual homeland. Beginning with intimate views of his family members, he photographed the life and times of a community displaced by war and unable to return to their homeland. He has explored the ways that the Polish community has struggled to maintain its own culture and yet has contributed to our own. His subjects include daily life at home, religious festivals, Polish Saturday school, the Polish boarding schools, remembrance and commemoration.
Selected images from Czesław’s archive will be presented at the Blast! Festival.
Czesław Siegieda’s work displays a consistency of imagination and a profound understanding of photographic quality. Born in a Polish refugee camp in the UK, it is this dual perspective of both understanding the desires and pressures felt by a minority culture, and of his ability to give it a poetic photographic expression, which gives his work a distinct flavour and importance.