In relation to a project theme titled Citizen of Nowhere, which was assigned to all the 2017 BA students, I have created a body of work in a number of different mediums which I have been encouraged to share. Most of the work is (and looks) experimental, but through this exploration I have also been working towards a main series in photography.
It felt natural for me to deal with the theme Citizen of Nowhere from an ‘identity in conjunction with place’ perspective. Almost everybody gains a sense of their identity from the nation they come from, or one they live in; yet on a more intimate level, a good part of one’s personal identity is tied to the household.
There is a reason why people say that home is where the heart is. It is where most come from and return to every day, where many of us store memories and all our personal belongings, and it is also the very foundation of our families.
When citizens are sentenced to prison, the first thing they must give up is their home. Our home plays a big role in the ideas we form of ourselves and reinforces that idea through our lifestyles. So in response to this theme, I have chosen to think of those who have had to constantly resettle in different places against their will – the people who never really settle.
For my main series, I have been documenting construction sites through the medium of photography, paying attention to details that reveal fragments of a two-dimensional plan of the house that once stood there, as well as details which suggest certain characteristics about those who have inhabited the house. The characters that have touched the walls in my photographs have most likely not had to flee from their homes forcefully, but what I am interested in is documenting the way people leave a part of themselves behind in each home – whether through the colours they chose to paint the rooms they spent a lot of their time in, or the wallpaper that reveals their taste, or the tiles that show where they used to bathe.
As I have not completed the final series as of yet, I will show the photos at a later stage, but here are some experimental collages the concept has inspired.
Mixed media collage
Mixed media collage