I wrote a piece of text in response to A is for Avant-Garde, Z is for Zero, an Exhibition involving the research and reflection of artists influenced by and the artists themselves, Laura Mulvey and Peter Wollen at Cooper Gallery, Dundee.
Ekphriasis Vol 3 - Homeward Bound
It all begins at home.
We got here by uncovering a practice that has always filled me with great joy -- rummaging. Sifting my mums, dads, grans, nana and papas' homes to find things from my everyday past, that sporadically surface in my memory. Hoping that they have been archived in some way so that I can pay homage to them.
This ethnological journey that encompasses the home began long before lockdown. During which I have thought a lot about home and ephemerality over the past few months. I thought about things like the ephemerality of everyday life outside of home. I thought about the ephemerality inside of home in everyday life. On my daily sanctioned walks, I walked to the two schemes I call home: one where my mum and brother live and the other where my dad lives. I walked around the schemes and reminisced about the old everyday. Collecting photos and memories along the way.
I use the term 'the everyday archivist' as a title a lot in my practice as I find it simply the most descriptive terminology for what I do. The recurrent themes throughout my work are un-surprisingly, the 'everyday' and 'archives' or archival processes. The common factor between these two broad themes is the site in which I specifically look at; the working-class home despite facing the full-frontal measures of austerity is a site teeming of everyday cultural archives. I feel most influenced when sharing and collectively remembering working-class everydayness with others. These memories are kneaded into my practice through memory work which becomes visual and textual artworks.
I primarily work with photography and home-movie style video. Through filmmaking, I document the everyday in colour and the intangible memories of the archived everyday in black and white. Through photography, I have a continuing series I work on called 'Scheme Sublime' which takes inspiration from and brings together a bit of New Topography, Suburban Sublime and British Social Documentary photography. In both
lens-based mediums, I have nurtured the learning of using sentimental cameras that found themselves in my care, after rummaging—each one adding different layers of nostalgic perspective to the film and photography projects.
I have found great solace in the archived collections of my family, places I call home and our old everyday during this pandemic. Hues from the films everyday shots now highlight their ephemerality.