Posts in Ancestry
Identity, Representation and Art

Starting this brand was motivated by a number of factors, namely representation. Having experimented with numerous mediums and multiple concepts I wanted to concentrate on one core value, which was diversity. 

Flood fill colour on photoshop 

Flood fill colour on photoshop 

Previously I have written about race, my identity and growing up in a world where there were very limited faces and more importantly role models I could align myself with.  One minute I did not fit, the next I did. It has always been confusing, the notion of identity. 

The disconnection from Indian culture that is part of my mums heritage, lost through her adoption has always resonated with me. It has been a productive catalyst inspiring my creativity. 

Mark making with the brush tool in photoshop 

Mark making with the brush tool in photoshop 

Art allows for a platform, a voice to be heard through visual expression and communication. Experimenting with my favourite media - collage, mixed media and print making has been both therapeutic and exciting conceptually.

Whilst there have been a variety experiments with other concepts such as capitalism and consumerism inspired by The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf, which I will write about at a later date. I knew I wanted to focus on this notion of diverse, identity representation and trying to create a space to express this. 

This led up lots and lots of different experiments before I had settled on the final design, which I had written about last week. Who knows if these will turn into something? 

Water colour painting that I started and stopped as I quite liked the combination between the black and white elements in stark contrast to the colour.

Water colour painting that I started and stopped as I quite liked the combination between the black and white elements in stark contrast to the colour.

The name of the original piece has always been called Abstract Asian, which is always close to my heart and will continue to be the most important imagery and is an avenue I wish to explore more. 

 

 

 

DNA Time
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Thinking about tracking your ancestors heritage is both an exciting and intimidating experience. 

The biggest concern was if the results would confirm the information I had grown to know as the truth or flag up more questions?  

What is fascinating is the breakdown in results and the land my ancestors covered from their direction out of Africa.  

Sadly I cannot go into detail as the report has ‘wandered’ off and I need to contact the company to see if I can still have access. But what I do remember is that the Indian percentage was 33%, there was some Portuguese in there amongst other nationalities with English being the majority. Which was no surprise given my mum being half English and my birth being English too. 

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So what next? How can I find out more about more about the Indian element? Whilst it was fascinating to find out the information from the report it was equally frustrating to still be hitting a brick wall in terms of specifics. Where was my mum’s birth mother from? Which part of India? How can we find out more information without it being emotionally detrimental to my mum? 

Unpicking my identity was / is becoming more and more important.  

Research ~ Family Roots

Naively I assumed that I could just contact the adoption services to retrieve the files relating to my mums adoption and viola we would have access to her family heritage. 

How wrong was I?  

The year she was adopted determines the process in which she can have access to her records. Pre 1975 means that you have to undergo counselling for a number of sessions. 

The rationale is to support the person on unlocking their history whilst navigating the many emotions and possible trauma they may encounter along the process.

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This was a big conversation for my mum and I as it is her history and whilst I am very curious to know I need to respect her thoughts and feelings regarding this. Which were and still are very complex emotions and until she is ready to ‘open that can of worms’ it will be shelved until she is ready for that journey. 

For me, I was super curious and of course I still am. But I was at a cross roads. The only thing I could do at that time was think about my own pathway and how I could find out more about my heritage.  

Ancestry.com seemed the obvious answer but without vital information it is impossible to track anything.

What was left? DNA testing. There is a kit  where you can find out about your heritage via saliva analysis. Brilliant I thought, so off the sample went to the lab and I waited in anticipation for the results.