Welcome to my stories of belonging.
Even if after all of these years, I'm not really sure whether that feeling of belonging is something I will ever attain.
In that light, what better place to exhibit this work than within the intangible in-between spaces of the internet? That fluid place of reinvention, where identities are reborn, and where notions of ones belonging are nurtured through staus comments, likes and retweets.
I have, in previous works, also dealt with identity, belonging and movement. Exploring my parents' migration for instance, from Jamaica to the UK. The result of that project, 'From a Small Island, was a set of static and fixed photographs on a wall.
Whilst those photographs were the fragments of a fraught sense of being and belonging. It wasn't until this child of migrants embarked upon the journey of leaving Britain for Canada, that the fraught sense of being and belonging reached unknown heights.
So, yes, I'm on the cusp of leaving the UK, to live in Montreal, Canada, next year. As my own migration story looms, large upon the horizon, my selfhood is being questioned, revised, and perhaps doubted within.
Time and space are more significant than that room, that gallery and its white space, and indeed those static photographs. While my desire to experiment and express the same ideas and concepts remains, the structure of the internet allows for a more expansive and collaborative set of possibilities. I have, for example, written more in these new works, much more. Perhaps words reflect my known world and images contain that which is unknown? I'm not sure.
The internet is a dynamic archival space. Its faceted multiplicity is able to be navigated in an infinite amount of ways - just like how belonging seems to function for me. It is not one thing. My works then, explore not only my connection to the changing spaces around me, as in Another Place Like Home but also to the stories and histories which have shaped those spaces, and my experience of them as in - In the Night of the Day.
So, I'm not sure where my story begins, or where it will end, or indeed even how the parts in between will affect you, if at all?
I don't even know whether this is a work about the past or one about the future, yet to come? Or even if the photograph, that entity which turns the present into death masks, which frame the past, is also the right tool?
But are narratives of the future any less fanciful than those of the past? Especially if we can agree that photography, as a document, is always only ever a fiction? Hopefully, my words, because there are a lot of them in this work, will help too to share my story of belonging.