De Ferrier, Migrant journeys. 2020 Unique state shoji gami. 60′ x 11″
My list of influential artists is growing rapidly. Julie Mehretu has always facinated me, her scale is immense, and her context is similar to mine in her depiction of race riots, and the challenges that people of colour have to deal with every day. The sewing work of Joanna Choumali, Jessica Rankin, and Idris Khan has definitely inspired me in exploring different ways to record journeys. These artists all deal with the subject of home, a revelation for me.
Recently I have revisited old loves, in Cy Twombly, Guillermo Kuitca, John Milton Cage and Frank Gohlke all of whom have made work that is visually similar to mine. Franz Kline and abstract expressionism, how dramatic his paintings, how thoughtfully created. Brice Marden, and his deep connection with the landscape and light. Interestingly enough this research has brought with it a deeper connection, and understanding of what I’m actually attempting to do and say with my own work.
I have always wrestled with the ‘why’ part of my practice, why this color, shape, line, why rusty buildings, why dereliction, why traces left by humans? Why brick walls, why migrants? It’s about me, a migrant with a deep connection, and empathy for other migrants. I know some of the experiences , I know the brick walls, the closed doors, I also know that often we are not, and never will be accepted for who we are unless we change. Where do we actually belong when we move so much?
I have received encouraging feedback for tutors and peers, but I do feel lacking in something. I cannot quite reach a concise way of articulating my ideas. This definitely needs work, but I do feel that this recent research has helped enormously.
This module has challenged all of us. I have absolutely loved it, the failures, pushing boundaries, I have learned so much about tools, mediums and my approach. I have been reckless, and fearless in my approach, and it has been very rewarding. Growing in this way can only bring good, my motivation is strong, and I aim to continue to experiment with scale, supports and methodologies.