The UK's vote to leave the EU has affected British citizens on a very personal level. Many people who identify as European feel like their identity is being taken away from them. Some of these individuals feel so strongly European that they have chosen to leave their homes, friends, family and lives in the UK behind them and move abroad in "cultural exile". These British Europeans, outraged that their EU citizenship has been taken away from them, against their will, embody to their very core the spirit of the Ventotene manifesto and the founding vision of a united Europe of peace, unity in our diversity and solidarity across nations. These truly European citizens are the focus of my next artistic investigation, for the Schwarzkopf Foundation: A portrait project of 27 British citizens in exile across Europe.
My mission is to find a Brexile to represent each of the EU member states, interview them about their experiences and reasons for leaving the UK, and how their country has responded to the Covid 19 pandemic. I am then producing a series of sketches, and finally, an oil portrait in a disrupted cubist style.
The style of the painting is deliberately intense and overwhelming, disconcerting and vibrant; representing passion, emotion, disruption, chaos, energy, vitality and change. A visual depiction of the experiences these individuals have lived through since they discovered the UK's vote to leave the EU on 24th June 2016.
All of my participants portraits and interviews will be published on my blog and social media accounts. However, I would also like to produce a book documenting their stories in print. This crowdfunder is to print and distribute copies of the book to people who wish to support the project, to tell the stories of Brexiles across Europe.
Check out my blog here.
You can pledge for a copy of the book by selecting a reward, or you can donate to support the project.
£10 for a pdf copy
£12 for a signed copy in print
£20 for 2 signed copies in print
All support and shares on social media are greatly appreciated, and helps to support my creative practice in my mission to promote a united Europe of solidarity, unity and equality. The future is Europe, but we must invest in that future, because the EU is under attack from populism and we can not take what we have achieved through collaboration and co-operation for granted.