Delaine Le Bas

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Delaine Le Bas (born 1965) is a British Artist from a Romany background.


Le Bas told the Travellers' Times that “I actually liked going to school which was difficult because I am the only one out of five of us that finished school. And then I had ideas about going to Art College.” She said that until starting school she had been sheltered from how racist people can be towards Gypsy Traveller people.[1]

Delaine Le Bas has shown her art extensively both in the UK and internationally, including at the International Festival of Singular Art, Roquevaire, France; the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, U.S., Transition Gallery and the 2005 and 2007 Prague Biennales. In June 2007 her work was included in the first Roma pavilion of the 2007 Venice Biennale. She took part in the Summer 2007 Prague Biennale.[2] Le Bas will participate in ROUNDTABLE: The 9th Gwangju Biennale, which took place September 7 – November 11, 2012 in Gwangju, Korea.

Le Bas has had several solo exhibitions, including "Room" at Transition Gallery in London; "The House of the JuJu Queen" at Galerie Giti Nourbaksch, Berlin, and at Galleria Sonia Rosso, Turin.[3] Her work has been called 'magpie-like', featuring intricate embroidery and installations made up of various objects and ornaments.[4]

Her work moves expansively from a unique series of thematic departures including nationhood, race, gender and relationships. These issues are explored through freely combined media. Embroidery, painting and decoupage/"femmage" interact with sculpture and installations that reflect domestic claustrophobia, the transient nature of modern materiality and the tensions that characterise Le Bas' own experience as a Gypsy. The boundary between embellished objects and recovered items re-deposited within the installation is deliberately tested and blurred. Tapestries adorned with the Artist's own stitching and brushmarks arte confronted by items with a less unequivocal history.

In the publicity for the First Roma Pavilion at Venice in 2007, Le Bas was quoted as saying: "As a Romany, my viewpoint has always been that of the outsider and this position of the 'other' is reflected in the materials and messages within my work. We live in a culture of mixed values and garbled messages. My works are crafted from the disregarded and disparate objects of the car boot sale and the charity shop."[5]

For an installation in 2014, Le Bas recreated 'containment compounds' used to control Gypsy families by British authorities at the start of the 20th Century.[6]

In 2017 she told The Guardian that “Most Roma art is held in storage, gathering dust in basements of museums... Most artists are either ignored altogether or, as Gypsies, we’re visible only in a highly negative way.”[7]

Le Bas and her husband Damian Le Bas have been associated with Outsider Art, unconventional artists working outside the confines of the art establishment.[7]


  1. ^ "Delaine Le Bas – 'a strange and interesting journey'". Retrieved 2017-11-14. 
  2. ^ "PRAGUEBIENNALE3". Archived from the original on 4 April 2014. Retrieved 4 August 2014. 
  3. ^ "FORMER WEST – Delaine Le Bas". Retrieved 2017-11-14. 
  4. ^ "Delaine Le Bas – Wonderland". Wonderland. 2008-02-10. Retrieved 2017-11-14. 
  5. ^ "Paradise Lost / Il Paradiso Perduto". Retrieved 4 August 2014. 
  6. ^ "Romany Gypsy Delaine Le Bas to recreate containment compounds in gallery exhibition | Culture24". Retrieved 2017-11-14. 
  7. ^ a b Connolly, Kate (2017-06-08). "'A place to call our own': Europe's first Roma cultural centre opens in Berlin". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-11-14. 

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