43: Stormy Passage
Stormy Passage – Last year I participated in an art residency at Gæsteatelier Hollufgård, Denmark. “Stormy Passage” is one of the pieces that developed out of my residency and is part of my Migration Series. As the daughter of migrants, I am keen to explore notions of identity and travel associated with migration. Inspired by my research into boats in Denmark, and the hull of Barca Nostra at the 2019 Venice Biennale, my work evokes the bitter-sweet narratives of migration. The sculpture contains a number of bronze sacks representing an immigrant’s personal items. The hand-sewn sacks and crudely stitched seams on the boat are metaphors for fragility, the act of mending clothes and patching together our lives. “Stormy Passage”, depicts a difficult and uncertain journey, where the migrants are absent, possibly having moved on. This work is both a celebration of migration as a new beginning and a personal protest against the way most developed countries approach migration.
This section was difficult because as a sculptor myself, one who builds rather than cuts away, I understand the complexities of such work. The bronze ‘boat’ is a compilation of, please pardon my puns, what looks like a cut in half squashed up leather football stuffed with paper and tied up with barbed wire but the magic happens when the entire thing is bronzed. And suddenly it is beautiful. The artist consequently has to have a preemptive vision of what they want the final result to look like and this sculpture works well as it has a statement value of mystery, a bit of trauma and intrigue. Plus working with barbed wire is no mean feat! Well done.