This image titled St Georges Cross, Union Jack and two Asians recently made it in the Guardian online and the G2 supplement. The article included Stuart Hall’s essay that was commissioned by Birmingham University for the group show at mac Birmingham. I will be exhibiting three pieces in the show.
Last week I made the trip to Tipton as I had arranged to photograph and interview a few sitters towards my Multistory commission. The series is taking shape now and I have begun to explore interior details.
Making work in Tipton has been a different working experience to how I would normally work. In the past, I would meet people on the streets or in social settings to then engage and make work. These exchanges could take 2 minutes or even half a day, it really was dependent on the sitters time. In Tipton I have arranged many meetings with potential sitters over the phone with the kind help of key individuals in the town. It has meant that sometimes I knock on the doors of individual who I have never met before. Entering their homes I have been greeted with cups of tea and most recently chicken and spinach curry for lunch. It has been a real humbling experience engaging with the older generation and the portraits I am making are so powerful.
Here is an image I recently made at Mr Allah Ditta’s home a man in his 80’s who has lived in England since the 50’s. We had a great interview about his life and Mr Ditta also agreed to be photographed. His portrait along with some of his interview will be included in the book.
This was one of the portraits I exhibited at my final MA show in Bonington Gallery. There were four portraits in total which are now permanently exhibiting at Nottingham Trent University. The MA programme itself was very intense and over a period of 6 months I made over 100 portraits of women both singular and in groups. Furthermore, I officially interviewed 32 individuals totalling approximately 48,000 words, which helped form my final research field notes.
Recently I have been concentrating on making work in and around the mosque that was bombed in Tipton. It was the first time that I had seen a mosque decorated in fairy lights and bunting. These decorations were put up to celebrate the birthday of the Prophet. When reading around the subject of birthdays its gets complicated as part of the Muslim community believe the celebration of birthdays are contradictory to Islamic law, and perhaps this is why I have never seen a mosque decorate like this before? The prophets birthday is called Mawlid or Milad. I personally really enjoyed seeing the mosque decorated like this, it gave it such a warm and welcoming feel.