I began this collection with the intention of exporing the experience of being a part of a diaspora looking in on the culture to which you have moved, but it soon became clear that my own experience also includes feeling what it is to be British watching other diasporas arrive.
Having grown up in a strongly Roman Catholic culture, two of the filters I use to view the world are sin and virtue - where there is a feeling of guilt, there must be sin and where they is comfort and joy, there must be virtue. The Sins of Diaspora are those experiences about which I feel uncomfortable, guilty or angry.
To be a part of diaspora means having abandoned your homeland. By choice, for a better life, or by exile, as a refugee - you have left the land that gave you birth and, along with it, family, friends and culture. To integrate and embrace the culture of your new home is a further abandonement of your homeland. Even calling your new home, "home" is a betrayal.
But to refuse to integrate and rigidly protect your culture is also a betrayal. You are denying yourself the opportunity to experience life and grow, but you are also denying the people of your new land that same opportunity - to experience life and grow through contact with different ways of being.
This is one of the many dichotomies that people of diaspora must learn to live with. It cannot be resolved, so it can only be lived with.
The paintings use pale, washed out colours, questioning eyes and fractured, disjointed faces representing the feeling of being neither separate nor together.
Collection: Diaspora Sins
Acrylic on canvass
51cm x 77cm