The following works are currently at the digital montage stage. As yet I have not decided whether I will let them remain like this or introduce mixed media to the proceedings. These images began from photographs of some of my travels when I was much younger – in these cases, through central Africa and Egypt.
Looking back at these photos, I have mixed feelings about it all, knowing what I know now about poverty, exploitation, globalisation, about intolerance, religious wars and terrorism. It’s not that I was completely unaware when I was younger – it just didn’t seem to dominate the everyday as much for whatever reason, be it the media, or the rose-coloured spectacles of youth. However I don’t regret the backpacking. I was lucky – privileged that I was able to do this in the first instance, and return to find decent work with no real problem in London in my 20’s.
With teenagers of my own now, I wonder whether they will have these same opportunities. It feels like they won’t, that they have a lot more to worry about – or is it something that should be actively encouraged anyway. Travelling no doubt provides experiences, encourages tolerance and stretches the mind that just reading about it, wouldn’t have done. Have we wound ourselves up so tight that we are afraid to do anything?
So back to these old photos – oddly they don’t feel strange to me which I thought they would, given my life now– in fact they still feel familiar. They are like an imprint within myself, intrinsic to my existence and experience. Having scanned these old photos, I have created a digital file onto which I have added digital montages of different patterns. These patterns represent a repeating life force yet on closer inspection they are imperfect, with evidence of ongoing changes.