The self is a construct. It is an amalgamation of all the things in the environment that have influenced it. A space is also a construct. If unused, it does not hold any meaning. Only when occupied does it change and come to life. As such, the relationship between space and the self is one of reciprocity. We bring to an environment all the meaning that we have derived from it. In a way, we are blended in the place and the place is blended with in us.
With the world becoming more complicated, our relationship with our surroundings has begun to contort. Technological transformations, migration, climate change, globalization, and capitalism have led us into to a world that is rapidly changing. We are now juggling multiple identities that inform our interactions with a place. My work explores and problematizes this dynamic.
In my practice, I use performance and portraiture of females as a way of contextualizing the female experience through their stories of a place or space. Using patterns, objects, and images, I draw on associations related to spaces to reanimate the female experience, allowing the viewer to see my female subjects through a new lens, one that does not sit within the male or post-colonial gaze. In painting, layering and collage serve as a process of construction and deconstruction of space. I use these techniques to juxtapose, enhance, and retract elements that allude to a narrative about the female protagonist and her stories of a space.
This kind of illustration stems from my desire to recalibrate ways of seeing and being non-western and Female. Drawing on ideas about embodiment, spaces, and identity, my practice seeks to challenge regimes of representation and instead offers to re-examine non-western female subjectivity and spectatorship.