PHO703 Surfaces & Strategies

De Ferrier, New construction. 2020

Research Project & Interests

I am very interested in the flow of people. The reasons for migration and diaspora are reasonably clear, people move for economic, or safety reasons. The list is short, but most reasons for migration can fall into one or other category; safety or economic. I have travelled, lived and worked across the globe for most of my life. I am yet to encounter someone who relishes the idea of leaving their home, their families, or their surroundings. This, along with the very real, and quite often hostile reception that can be experienced in the new host country. Whatever leads to this forced movement brings with it a new existence and a new normal.

My research has led to photographing new structures being built on the outskirts of the city of Houston, Texas. The workforce is almost entirely made up of migrant workers, who brave the brutal Texas heat to create buildings in order to fulfill rampant consumerism. The difficulties came quickly as I was removed from every site that I entered so portraits of the migrant workers were not possible. I mitigated this by focusing on the things that were left behind. This almost forensic approach was an interesting outcome and only arose because I could not photograph the people that I was most interested in. Portraiture was captured of students at an International school along with hand written notes of what they miss from home.

De Ferrier, Marcos. 2020
De Ferrier, Marcos hand written note. 2020

Marcos is from Venezuela his note reads. “I miss when I wouldn’t have to worry if my family had anything to eat.”