Leigh Clarke, Syrians (installation detail), 2018. Image © and courtesy of the artist.

Leigh Clarke
The Syrian

2018

Bossons is the story of a master printer whose factory mass manufactured hand-painted wall plaques from 1946-1996 depicting wildlife, Dickensian characters and indigenous people drawn from National Geographic magazine, and how his infectious celebration of different cultures tapped into the British working class consciousness.

In the 70s Leigh Clarke grew up with a group of the most produced and least collectible of the Bossons catalogue – that of a Syrian man – on the wall of his family home. For this work, Clarke has stripped back a larger number of heads, rendering them faceless and revealing the ‘chalk’ of the plaster beneath. The removal of the identity of Bosson’s Syrian makes reference to how British society has represented Syria, from the age of Lawrence of Arabia to news reports of the biggest humanitarian crisis since World War II, and alludes to Britain’s iconic gateway to Europe, the White Cliffs of Dover.

Visit at any point during opening times. Thanks to London College of Communication, and to Margo Selby Studio.

Leigh Clarke