Work in Progress
We carry home with us from one place to another, often in the shape of objects imbued with the colours and emotions and senses of where we were. Photographs of home, of us at home, become profound symbols of the past we carry with us and the people and places we leave behind.
Canadians have an ambivalent relationship with immigration and immigrants. Our ancestors have all come here from elsewhere, but our social processes of naturalization and assimilation give us a false sense of always-belongedness. As if we did not come here from there. And so we view newcomers as other rather than kindred. The process of Home is thus necessarily intense and intimate. My imperative is to respect the vulnerability of newcomers in the settlement phase of their immigration- a delicate time where individuals are establishing their lives in a foreign land- to document where they were, where they are.
The diptychs of Home explore the images of our past and the new places we inhabit to suggest a fluidity of space and time. The left image places a collected photograph against a new background, each tailored to the diptych’s subject. Family photographs taken in moments of joy and happiness,that unintentionally have become visual documents on of an individuals life. Expanded from their original size, these photo stake on a different intent of communication. The right panel photographs the subject in new domestic space, a document of a new time in the subjects life.
Photography universally brings anyone who has ever made a photograph on an artistic commonplace; this is precisely this connectivity that informs Home.Our North American imagination equates photographs with memory, a complex and troubled interchange. The two images are framed individually but mounted with only a small gap between each other.The space between these photographs represents the distance from there to here. Inside that space, challenges are overcome and sacrifices are made that invariably change ones life. These are the stories and narratives are what I feel is lacking in today's discussion on immigration.