The New Gypsies
20.04.11 – 28.05.11
The New Gypsies are British horse drawn travelers. They are a group of people seeking an alternative to western capitalist society by living in simplicity, at close contact with nature and moving from place to place on horse-drawn caravans. They are punks in the landscape, born out of the counterculture of the 60s and 70s, as well as the rave culture of the 90s. The New Gypsies do not share a common ethnographical origin, a spirituality, or political stand. They share an ideal that a different way of living is possible.
Photographer Iain McKell spent the last ten years documenting and living with various travelers. McKell’s use of fashion aesthetics, a romanticized pallet of colors, and his intentional rejection of many of the visual traits of traditional documentary photography, offers an unsettlingly beautiful series of photographs of this invisible and ignored community.
This extraordinary body of work immerses us in this colorful and wonderful world, drawing our attention to the beauty and depth of The New Gypsies as individuals and as part of a community. Portraits, shot in impromptu open-air photo studios, made with the fabric that covers the caravans, are both alluring and intimate without hiding the toughness of The New Gypsies' life accurately registered on their faces.
The New Gypsies offers us an opportunity to consider the possibilities of a different way of life and an alternative vision of the future.
Iain McKell is a London based photographer who is widely known for his work around youth subculture. He has worked extensively for music, fashion and style magazines including i-D, The Face, L'Uomo Vogue and Italian Vogue. His photographic documentation of the punk and new-wave ‘Blitz Kids’ scenes in London in the 70s and 80s have influenced an entire generation of fashion photographers.
The exhibition has been curated for the Fashion Space Gallery by Bruno Ceschel.