The Elephant in the Room Conversations began in 2015 with an exhibition and workshops at Powis Castle, curated by Jill Impey. The aim was to reveal and address some difficult questions around notions of borders and boundaries; homelands; Hiraeth, and migration. The work of 16 Welsh and English artists showed how contemporary art can help to unpick unspoken issues around objects of the British Empire, using the Clive collection to tell the story of shared histories from different perspectives and migrations to and from the UK.
Jill Impey’s 2019 film, comissioned by National Trust Powis Castle, reflects back on responses to The Elephant in the Room Exhibition and invites a new dialogue around the Clive Collection.
This conversation piece asks us to explore unspoken truths of the British Empire and how they relate to migration of peoples, ideas and objects today.
With references to Tipu sultans Golden Palenquin, European Orientalism and Classical furniture styles, the Elephant invites us to contemplate the journeys of the objects in the Clive collection, at Powis Castle and how they came to be in a Castle in Wales.