Derek Vaughan MEP yesterday opened the 11th ‘Ghosts in Armour’ exhibition at the European Parliament in Brussels.
The show is a collaboration of innovative work by 25 international artists, exploring traces and connections between the industrial history of Wales and the Basque Country.
Curated by Matt Wright and Janire Nájera, photographers based in South Wales, `Ghosts in Armour´ emerged as a response to the derelict Whiteheads steelworks in Newport in 2007. Since its first, highly successful exhibition at The Riverfront Theatre and Arts Centre in Newport, the project has evolved into a multidisciplinary research effort investigating the consequences of deindustrialisation throughout Europe.
'Ghosts in Armour' has exhibited across the world over the past two years, from the National Waterfront Museum in South Wales, to the Today Art Museum in Beijing, Metro stations in Bilbao and the gallery of the Bilbao Arte Foundation. In Wales, Tata Steel granted privileged access to key sites for artists to re-interpret contemporary industrial environments. While in the Basque Country, the remains of what was once the country’s largest factory, Altos Hornos de Vizcaya, was visited by local and international artists working in conjunction with former workers.
The European Parliament exhibition has been made possible thanks to a collaborative effort of the Welsh Assembly Government EU Office , Derek Vaughan (MEP), Jill Evans (MEP) and the delegation of the Basque Government in Brussels. The exhibition will run simultaneously at the European Parliament and the Welsh Assembly Government EU Office until the 31st March 2011.
Speaking at the exhibition, Derek Vaughan MEP said
"I am delighted to welcome the critically acclaimed 'Ghosts in Armour' exhibition to the European Parliament. The steel industry was influential in shaping the communities and landscapes of South Wales and the industry's decline has had a profound effect on the area's economy and society. The talented Welsh and Basque artists involved in this exciting project have captured the unique shared heritage in an imaginative, effective and memorable way. This exhibition works to ensure that memories of Europe's industrial past are not forgotten."
A variety of multimedia responses will be exhibited utilising photography, video, painting, graphic design, fashion, sculpture, drawing and poetry, exploring the themes of history, loss and regeneration.