LINEAGE: A PERSONAL AND COLLABORATIVE JOURNEY INTO THE HISTORY OF SOUTHAMPTON’S SHOWMAN COMMUNITY
By India Lawton
Design: James Asprey, Lowena Hoskin, Alice Kumagami, Curtis Rayment, Aisling Sam
Inspired by British Art Show 8’s presence in Southampton, I have embarked on an investigation into my own relationship to this historical city as an artist-researcher.
My starting point was the work of Ciara Phillips, an artist exhibiting in the show. Phillips’ work is often screen printed, comprising of an assortment of vibrant colours, and collaborative practice. I felt that it was vital that my research involved the wider community and I invited family members to participate in my journey, as well as collaborating with students from Winchester School of art in the making of the final outcome.
Meeting with individuals from my immediate, and more distant family, allowed for the sharing of memories, and images. Through these images stories were told, and faces that before had been strangers to me, became a part of my history.
My family has been living in Southampton for over a century, and opening a fairground here throughout that time. Through the images I have been given, I have begun to learn more about my family’s connection to Southampton, and my own ancestry rooted here.
This booklet is a collection of images of my family’s history in Southampton. As time goes on, the identity of people in family photographs begins to fade, until they are anonymous faces in images from the past. While this article will not tell the full story of Southampton’s showman community and my own lineage, it may help us to immortalise the story of an existence almost forgotten.
Scans by James Asprey https://www.behance.net/gallery/46757691/Lineage
Video by Curtis Rayment https://vimeo.com/201181161
British Art Show 8 is organised by Hayward Touring, Southbank Centre, London. The exhibition is presented in Southampton across three venues; John Hansard Gallery, Southampton City Art Gallery and Bargate Monument.
Special thanks to:
British Art Show 8, organised by Hayward Touring
Winchester School of Art, Southampton University
Students and staff of BA Graphic Arts WSA
The Coles Family
Miss Shirley Cole, for her wonderful collection of photographs and knowledge
Helen Lawton, my mother, for all her support and sharing of memories