MP visits art exhibit and dedicates message in a boat to help refugees

Murmurations director Jo Nguyen and Bexhill Mayor Cllr Simon Elford SUS-160709-140613001
Murmurations director Jo Nguyen and Bexhill Mayor Cllr Simon Elford SUS-160709-140613001

Bexhill and Battle MP Huw Merriman pledged to see help Jordan refugees when he visited the Private View launch of Another Crossing at Murmurations art gallery, Bexhill.

Bexhill Mayor Simon Elford also attended the launch of the exhibition, which explores the themes of the The Root 1066 Festival and runs until October 3.

Photographer Giovanna Del Sarto SUS-160709-135622001

Photographer Giovanna Del Sarto SUS-160709-135622001

The festival commemorates the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings with two artists, Bern O’Donoghue and Giovanna Del Sarto making responses to the refugee crisis of 2015 as ‘Another Crossing’ of people as William the Conqueror once did.

Part interactive, part installation, this thought provoking and challenging exhibition brings together two projects retelling the human stories behind every migration.

Bern O’Donoghue’s Refugee Crossing, asks you to explore what a refugee really is. Visitors can participate in workshops to make paper boats which represent the human beings behind the refugee, whether it be daughter, father, mother or son.

Bern said: “Migration has always existed. It is part of the human story. People have always moved due to famine, war or disasters - most never out of their own choice - and whether we disagree with it or not, now in 2016, we cannot forget that there is a human tragedy behind it.”

Artist Bern O' Donoghue and MP Huw Merriman SUS-160709-135637001

Artist Bern O' Donoghue and MP Huw Merriman SUS-160709-135637001

Giovanna Del Sarto is a photo-documentorarist who has been imbedded in the refugee camps over the last year.

Her work highlights the real life stories of refugees in her ‘A Polaroid for a Refugee ‘project. Giovanna’s images capture a point of transition, between places, times, and lives of the past and the future and of things lost and of things yet to be gained. Her sad, poignant Polaroids reflect the inner strength and dignity that some of the refugees try to maintain during their long and harrowing journeys. For every Polaroid she takes, she gives one to the refugee as a reminder of the moment, and on the back is a simple statement: “Where ever your destination may be - tell me when you feel you have reached a safe place.” This is a statement of hope but sadly for some, this may never occur.

The exhibition invites participants to visit the gallery to make paper boats and add them as messages of hope as part of the installation.

Huw Merriman was glad to add his message of hope as he is due to travel to Jordan to see for himself how he can help with the current crisis. His message says: “I am coming to Jordan in September to visit the refugee camps and see for myself how tough life is and how I can help.”

Huw Merriman MP for Bexhill and Battle at the Private View  launch of  Another Crossing at Murmurations gallery. SUS-160709-135458001

Huw Merriman MP for Bexhill and Battle at the Private View launch of Another Crossing at Murmurations gallery. SUS-160709-135458001

Residents and visitors are urged to be on the lookout for these colourful paper boats around town and take them into the gallery or make a new one and add your messages to Bern’s Refugee Crossing installation wall.

The two artists are speaking along with a host of other guests at a Symposium ‘Refugee Crisis – what can and should our response be’ on September 22. Visitors are welcome to share in the debate.

All artworks are available for sale during and after the exhibition. Sales of printed material associated with the exhibition goes towards refugee crisis charities. www.murmurationsgallery.co.uk

Bern O' Donoghue's Refugee Crossing installation wall. SUS-160709-141933001

Bern O' Donoghue's Refugee Crossing installation wall. SUS-160709-141933001