THE SPAGHETTI TREE
DECEMBER 7, 2016 - FEBRUARY 15, 2017
Opening Reception: Wednesday, December 7, from 6 - 8 pm
511 Gallery is pleased to present The Spaghetti Tree, an exhibition of photographs by British artist Lucy Levene. The series was made for a commission that was presented to Levene upon winning the 1000 Words Photography Award in 2012. The work consists of 48 photographs that capture life in the Italian communities of Bedford and Peterborough, United Kingdom, which were formed in the 1950s, when men were recruited from Southern Italy to supplement labor shortages in the local brick industry.
The Spaghetti Tree is Levene’s first series documenting a group of which she is not a part, and she has spoken of thus feeling a certain discomfort that shapes the work. For the first time as a photographer, Levene embraces the role of the outsider; her unassuming approach to the Italian communities of Bedford and Peterborough is apparent in the photographs. Through the use of flash, shadows, set backdrops, and unusual angles, Levene makes her presence evident, indicating that she is not a seamless member of the communities but rather a removed observer. Yet, while still maintaining her position as an outsider, Levene seeks to break through the various constructs of what it means to be “Italian” and the ways in which the communities perform these stereotypes.
The Spaghetti Tree will be on view from December 8, 2016 - February 15, 2017, with an opening reception on Wednesday, December 7, from 6 - 8 pm.