Glynn Vivian Art Gallery: blog

Richard Billingham: Ray



Glynn Vivian Art Gallery will premiere a major new film installation by Richard Billingham offsite at the Ragged School, Swansea opening this Friday 5 June, 6-8pm. Billingham shot to fame in the nineties with his beautiful and often disturbing photos of his family, the body of work called Ray’s a Laugh. Ray sees artist Richard Billingham return to these early photographs that he captured of his family to tell a universal story of everyday conflicts, love and loss. At times shocking and laced with unsettling humour, Ray is a film about pain, addiction, loneliness and control.

Ray was filmed on location in Cradley Heath, West Midlands, in the same housing block that Billingham grew up in with his family. By using the artist’s original photographs as a visual reference, the film captures the texture and atmosphere of his family life in the early 1990s through a painstakingly recreated set.

The film features Patrick Romer as Billingham’s father, Ray; Richard Ashton as his home-brew supplying neighbour, Sid, and Deidre Kelly, star of Channel 4’s documentary ‘Benefit Street’, plays Ray’s volatile wife, Liz.

Richard Billingham lives in Swansea. He was the first recipient of the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize in 1997 and was nominated for the Turner Prize, 2001. His work is held in many international public collections such as the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum, New York, Tate and the V&A, London. He holds professorships at The University of Gloucestershire and Middlesex University.

Director: Richard Billingham
Producer: Jacqui Davies
Director of Photography: Daniel Landin BSC Cast Ray: Patrick Romer Liz: Deirdre Kelly Sid: Richard Ashton

Ray is supported by Arts Council Wales, Arts Council England, agnès b, FIDLab and Panavision, University of Gloucestershire and Glynn Vivian Art Gallery

Produced by Jacqui Davies. Courtesy Anthony Reynolds Gallery

The exhibition is open Wednesday – Saturday 6 June – 18 July, 11 – 4.30pm
Ragged School, 1-2 Pleasant Street, Swansea SA1 5DS

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