Stoppin' under the stars
"I'm sick and tired of GRT being depicted as dirty, always showing us with bags of rubbish and muck so I decided to make a collection of art pieces that show us in a new, more fitting light" wrote Dean Rheims on Twitter, TT decided to find out more about Dean, his 'space themed' art work and what he hopes to achieve.
"My father is from the Irish Travelling community and my mother is from the Scottish Travelling community. growing up I lived a sheltered life, both communities and cultures were my life", said Dean who is from the North East.
"I first got Internet access back in 2009 and I started dabbling in digital art around 2011. With my current collection 'Beyond Your Comfort" I use the space theme to challenge the negative stereotypes and inaccurate perceptions people have about the Gypsy Roma and Traveller people and cultures. In media that feature us there is always a bag of rubbish somewhere in shot or in reference. I've lived on the road in a trailer myself and we always kept the camps and sites that we used clean. We're not just some helpless people living in a muddy ditch, we're not dirty, we're not stupid, we're not violent, we're not criminals, we certainly ain't bland, we're fabulous, we're beautiful!"
"My hopes are for a future where Gypsy Roma and Traveller kids don't get bullied at school for simply being who they are. I hope for lots more sites and stopping places for my communities. I hope for more compassion from wider society, we've been abused for hundreds of years and naturally that has a negative consequence on people's lives, communities and cultures. I hope for actual representation within governments - there's no reason why we can't have a Gypsy Roma or Traveller Prime Minister or MP!"
Dean's next project looks to focus on some of the online hate speech often aimed at Gypsy Roma and Traveller people .... so watch this 'space'
You can see more and purchase Dean's work here https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/deanrheims
By TT Team