We inhabit an elusive space, where there is an ongoing struggle to find the missing pieces of self. We are all on the journey to be accepted and to feel a sense of belonging.
My work is about mimicry – what it means to mimic, the implications of employing this tool in the process of constructing postcolonial Caribbean identity, and the significance of this idea in a twenty-first-century art context. We are all aware of the narratives surrounding the issues regarding the influence of colonialism, mass media, pop culture, Western trends and their impact on the formation of identity, but who is telling the story and from what point of view? I would like to tell a story . . .
The act of copying or imitating a dominant culture is evident in the formation of subcultures resulting from class distortions associated with colonialism. With this in mind, I create works surrounding this duality that plays a vital role in the formation of cultural identity, a product that is constantly changing and not fixed. There is an obsession with the need for acceptance and belonging, and I use my works to add to the ongoing dialogue on the subject of cultural identity and representation. Objects such as collars, hair, pearls, spoons, lace and cane are recurring in the works, and act as signifiers of control, restriction and royalty/high society. These motifs are juxtaposed with figures to highlight the tension regarding class struggles in society. I make reference to Dutch sixteenth-to-seventeenth century portraiture, appropriating and re-contextualising its representation. I use the idea of portraiture as a tool that imitates the model, incorporating both traditional and contemporary painting languages to create a ‘story’ within the works.