Salt Series, 2015. C-Prinit. Series of 8
My mother’s history with photography is one of the reasons it was so important that my images are in self-portrait. Because of the inaccessibility to and cost of a camera, a Caribbean culture that is not necessarily favourable to picture taking and a slew of other reasons I’ll maybe never be privy to, my mother has a single image of herself as a child.
My objective when I began this project was to answer the question of survival: What was my mothers life like? How did she survive? I experimented with this by putting myself into the hypothesis that we survive through creation and watching how this became true for me as I birthed myself, metaphorically and psychologically, both in front and behind the lens, I created a visual-‐based rites of passage process through using performance self and familial portrait photography. While vastly different in appearance, each of the three image series share similar undertones through the methodology I employed to create them. This photography is mythological and political, it is real and it is fake.
As a collection they all are based on histories I uncovered through learning about my family history. Salt explores the history of women in my family, moving around sites in our hometown of San Fernando, Trinidad, to places that share cultural, social, economic and familial significance. Sixth Company Battalion uses the history of Trinidad to bring forward questions of colonialism, power and gender. The ole mas character, the Blue Devil, in multiple iterations speaks to the multiple manifestations of the haunting. Together they use costume, juxtaposition, haunting, performance and historical and personal narrative to weave together a form of bio-mythology. Each image represents a different moment in the process of coming into myself as an artist and a woman – a different stage of my rites of passage.