I came away from these tutorials with the understanding that my artist statement needed a little reworking. It is a little didactic; I am telling my audience too much. I am telling the viewer how to look at the work and what they should think. It is a challenge; I need to make decisions for this text and title. I realise I have to tread carefully, giving information but not giving too much information. I want to encourage the viewer to think, without spelling it out to them. I do not want to close off the audiences engagement, the process of absorbing and thinking about my work.
I have a great draft to rework; I just need to loosen up my writing a little bit. I am contemplating using a quote from one of my relatives. It is a project about memory and history so it is important to know who has said this quote, his full name.
It is not my responsibility to tell the view of how they should be thinking or feeling. It is my responsibility to plant seeds. In my writing I need to think about how I can be subtler, indicating that it is a personal project about my family. I can do this by using the quote. I need to think about how I can make my writing a little bit more open.
(Below you can read the FINAL Artist Statement that will appear in the catalogue and at the exhibition.)
‘One of the Few Left Now’
“I am 79, and my brother is 82; we must be one of the few left now that can talk about their experiences in India” (Malcolm Heppolette).
‘One of the Few Left Now’ explores Anglo Indian cultural memories that are becoming lost and fragmented. This work seeks to explore my own heritage; it has taken me on a journey, from hazy memories of many generations to reconnecting with a lost family past through a process of portraiture, collections of memorabilia, stories, artifacts and histories.
This work celebrates my Anglo Indian ancestry, a dissolving culture that I wish to draw attention to, through a narrative platform where culture, history and stories can be explored.