A University of Winchester academic, Dr Jane Peacock, is set to explain how she sparked creativity in a local Gypsy community on March 20.

The senior lecturer in social work conducted research within a 'settled' Gypsy community residing in social housing in a rural village in Hampshire.

Despite the majority never experiencing nomadic life traditionally, their artworks featuring traditional caravans, dogs and horses displayed at an event demonstrated their identity as 'Travellers'. The interest in the community extends to an archaeological dig near their original stopping places by Great British Dig presenter John-Henry Phillips and a culture project led by the New Forest Heritage Centre.

Despite the discrimination they face, the Gypsy community remains cohesive, said Jane. 

She added: "They pro-actively sustain their Gypsy identity through the maintenance of some traditional practices, visiting the traditional stopping places, their childhood homes, and inducting their children and grandchildren into Gypsy life from an early age."

An exhibition on the history of Gypsy life at Thorney Hill Community Centre is scheduled for June.

Dr Peacock's hour-long presentation, Overcoming the Challenges of Undertaking Research with Disadvantaged Groups – Using Creative Methods, will be held at 12.30pm in the University’s King Alfred Quarter, organised by CREATE.