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Hayv Kahraman, Hussein Pasha, 2013. Courtesy Defares Collection.

An exhibition combining paintings, drawings and new sculptural works.

Hayv Kahraman’s solo exhibition at the De La Warr Pavilion will be the artist’s first in a UK public gallery. Her work explores her experience of living between Western and Middle Eastern cultures: having fled Iraq with her family aged 11 during the first Gulf War as part of the Kurdish mass exodus, the artist migrated to Europe and now lives in the USA. A female figure recurs in her work, representing shared histories between women – particularly women of colour – and building on personal histories of migration.

‘My figures are extensions of my own body blended with the aesthetics of the renaissance. “She” actually emerged when I was in Florence, Italy. I went to every single museum, did copies of old master paintings and was engulfed by the technique of that era. “Her” emergence, her white diaphanous flesh, her contrapposto, was an embodiment of someone who was colonised; someone who was taught to believe that European art history was the ultimate ideal. She became an expression of whom I had become as an assimilated woman. I’m now working to give her agency and a voice and as I obsessively repaint her again and again, she becomes part of a collective. I am concerned with the multitude not the self. This is not only my story. It can be the story of more than 5 million people within the Iraqi diaspora or any diaspora.’ – Hayv Kahraman, Glass Magazine, 2016

To depict this figure, Kahraman ‘steals’ techniques from across art history, including European Renaissance painting, Persian miniatures and Japanese woodblock prints. Blurring aesthetics of Western and Middle Eastern cultures, her paintings reveal the complex lived experience of migrants.

The exhibition will combine paintings, drawings and new sculptural works in order to show the breadth of Kahraman’s practice. On the occasion of the exhibition’s opening, Gendering Memories of Iraq will be presented: a performance of a script written by Kahraman that is both personal and part of a collective memory.

Kahraman was shortlisted for the 2018 and 2011 Jameel Prizes at the V&A Museum, and received the ‘Excellence in Cultural Creativity’ award at the Global Thinkers Forum, 2014. Recent solo exhibitions include Silence is Gold, Susanne Vielmetter, Los Angeles (2018); Acts of Reparation, Contemporary Art Museum, St Louis (2017); Re-Weaving Migrant Inscriptions, Jack Shainman Gallery, New York (2017); Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha (2016). Recent group exhibitions include Jameel Prize 5, V&A Museum, London (2018); The Fabric of Felicity, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow (2018); Dreamers Awake, White Cube, London (2017); No Man’s Land: Women Artists from the Rubell Family Collection, Miami (2015); June: A Painting Show, Sadie Coles HQ, London (2015).

Kahraman’s solo exhibition will take place alongside the major group show Still I Rise, Feminisms, Gender, Resistance, Act 2 in the Ground Floor Gallery. Her work is currently included in Act 1 of Still I Rise, on view at Nottingham Contemporary until 20 January 2019.

Staying locally

There are plenty of welcoming and good value B&Bs & boutique hotels in Bexhill. The De La Warr Pavilion regularly uses the following :

Travel information
  • By Rail
    Direct trains go from London Victoria, Brighton and Ashford to Bexhill.
    There are also trains from London Charing Cross, changing at St. Leonards Warrior Square and from London Bridge or Charing Cross going to Battle. Battle is only a short taxi journey away (15 mins approx).
    Visit www.nationalrail.co.uk for up-to-date train travel information.
  • Taxis
    Town Taxis:  01424 211 511
    Parkhurst Taxis:  01424 733 456
  • By Car
    If driving from the London area:
    Take the M25, then A21 to Hastings. Turn off at John‘s Cross and follow the signs to Bexhill.
    OR
    Take the A22 to Eastbourne, go across the Bishop roundabout to the A271 and follow the signs to Bexhill and the seafront. The De La Warr Pavilion is on the Marina.
    From the Brighton area:
    Follow the A27 out of Brighton until you arrive in Bexhill On Sea.
  • Parking
    Please be aware the Rother District car park outside the De La Warr Pavilion operates paid parking until 8pm. After this time parking is free. There is also lmiited free car parking along the seafront.
Accessibility

Within the limits of this Grade One listed building, the De La Warr Pavilion strives to be fully accessible with a range of facilities to support your visit.

Assistance Dogs are permitted into the building.

Please contact the Box Office on 01424 229 111 to arrange a visit.

Facilities for disabled visitors

  • Ramped access at the front of the building
  • A low counter at the Box Office and  Information Desk
  • Disabled toilets on two floors
  • A lift to all floors
  • Accessible galleries on both floors
  • An accessible Café
  • Spaces for wheelchairs in the auditorium for seated events
  • Ramped access in the auditorium for events during the day
  • Ramped access into the Studio
  • Two travel wheelchairs are available for use at the De La Warr Pavilion. To reserve, please call our box office and information desk on (01424) 229111 or ask a member of staff on arrival. The chairs are provided on a first come, first served basis and are intended for use inside the Pavilion. Please contact us for more information.

Facilities for blind or visually-impaired

  • Large print season brochures

Facilities for the hard-of-hearing

  • An T-Switch induction loop in some areas of the auditorium (please indicate when booking as this facility is not available on the balcony)
  • British Sign Language interpretation tours of the building and exhibitions are available on request.