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Julie Henry & Debbie Bragg  – Homo Ludens
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Homo Ludens
By Julie Henry & Debbie Bragg
Henry/Bragg delve into the nuances, rituals, habits and practices of declining and appropriated working class culture. They capture snapshots of social phenomena, taking the familiar and displacing it in order to present it back to the viewer as a mirror to themselves. Their latest photographic series B.I.N.G.O is about the changing face of bingo and was launched at the London Art Fair 2015 and will be a solo show at the C&C Gallery 23 May to 28 June 2015. Bingo had humble beginnings as a social activity, mainly for women, in church halls and working men’s clubs. Following The Betting and Gaming Act 1960, which allowed the dominance of large commercial bingo chains, the game rapidly increased in popularity and dedicated bingo halls began to spring up all over the country. It eventually went on to become a multi billion pound industry. In the last decade, bingo has been in decline and these huge venues have proved difficult to fill. Online bingo is the industry’s growth market, which now allows for 24/7 play. One result of the commodification of bingo is that is has moved participants to create a non-mainstream culture of DIY self-organised games in community centres and non-traditional bingo environments. For people whose pleasure it is to play in the company of others, not just the hope of a quick win, bingo is moving back to its roots. Henry/  Bragg exhibited their series ‘Dyed in the Wool’ at QUAD, Derby (2014) as part of the group exhibition ‘The Pride and the Passion’. Henry/Bragg's first collaboration Going Down 1998, a film installation about football fandom, was shown at International Centre of Photography, New York and has recently been acquired by The Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago for their permanent collection. Their first solo exhibition was Talent Show at the Anthony Wilkinson Gallery in 2000. Dyed in the Wool was a solo show at the Millais Gallery 2005, and in a group show Rundlederwelten as part of the cultural festival for the World Cup 2006 at the Martin Gropius Bau museum Berlin. In 2011, their Blooming Britain project, a study of people who enter gardening competitions, toured RHS gardens around the UK, and was shown in 2014 at the Chelsea Flower Show. The Surrey Hills, an audio-visual piece about a landfill site, toured worldwide in 2012/3 as part of the exhibition Wild New Territories. Henry/Bragg are represented by C&C Gallery London