|All Photos © Iain McKell. Above: Hazel, 2008.|
In his book The New Gypsies (Prestel), photographer Iain McKell presents his portraits of a real group of present-day nomads whose culture is built around ideals of freedom, nature, and simplicity. The movement that gave rise to this culture began in 1986, when a group of post-punk anti-Thatcher protesters headed out of London into the English countryside. McKell followed them to the West Country and watched them over the years as they became a hybrid tribe—what he calls the “new gypsies.” Also known as “horse-drawn,” they are present-day rural anarchists, living a subversive lifestyle in elaborately decorated horse-drawn caravans. These new gypsies share a desire for sustainability, a love of self-reliance and a disdain for the trappings of contemporary life.
The work featured in The New Gypsies will be on display in an exhibition at the Clic Gallery, 255 Centre Street, New York, New York. The exhibition will run from August 29 through October 2, 2011, with an opening reception on September 15 from 6 to 8pm.