Posts in University
Creative inspiration and reflections from last week
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Reflecting on last weeks post really made me think about my creative journey. I have been making work for a long time but it was only since university (including foundation) and beyond that, that my work started to have any true meaning. 

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Using fabric as a canvas was and still is a great way for me to explore identity. Utilising name labels manipulating them with different statements. And forever questioning ideas regarding the defining line of where art and fashion starts or even ends? Photography helped bring all of these concepts together. 

Moving abroad shifted the focus somewhat due to the lack of materials. But the camera being portable allowed my curious eye to wander and experiment. And I had a whole new landscape to capture; Tokyo, Japan. What a place. Such a beautiful country.

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During this time I continued to be inspired by Corinne Day and Nan Gordon, whose captured moments were exciting to me. I like the rawness of them. I still do. 

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In Tokyo I was still in touch with a tutor from art school and we decided to do a collaboration together. I supplied the images and he created the compositions coupled with text and Japanese paper.  

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The work was exhibited in an ‘art’ restaurant called The Pink Cow. Exciting times. A private view and invites ensured a good turn out. Happy memories from that. Apologies for the poor images. I only have copies from a book. 

In retrospect, this should have been the catapult inspiring me to create more work ready for another space. But I think the allure of the city provided too much stimulation squashing any creative instinct there was. Maybe I create when I am sad or contemplating something. The usual artist story.

I did take lots of photos though. One day they will become something. 

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Years later I now realise that I never really fully explored any of these ideas or pushed them to their full potential. I do this a lot I now realise. 

Having said that I am always thinking and doing bits and bobs here. Which is how a few years later the brand was born.

It became my space to really explore and question the issue, my issue of my own identity (a constant theme), diversity, representation of women from different ethnic groups and taking these concepts from the confines of a gallery to that of the street. So the images are always around us. 

There are lots of other ideas too but I can’t reveal them at the moment.  

As always, there is so much to say. So much I would like to communicate but it needs time, consideration and thought.

This is the start of the journey. The beginning of the narrative. How my life and experiences have materialised in to this body of work, clothing, fashion, creative expression...

University Time and Japan
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University was a great time. A time to be more independent and discover myself more without fear of critique.

It gets tiring answering the same question frequently ‘where are you from?’ 

It was during this time I stated to embrace my ‘other’ heritage and not feel ashamed of it. Shame is a heavy burden as is denial. It is hard when you are not given the space to discuss, ask questions or explore what your identity means because your immediate role model was not equipped with the tools nor confidence to tackle this very personal subject matter either. 

However I decided that university was the start of my own journey, my journey to unpick the any questions I had regarding my identity.  

 

It became quite simple.

 

Talking about my mum’s mixed heritage and adoption factually. How we do not know about her background aside from her mother being Indian and father being British. How her adoptive parents were progressive, adopting children from different countries post Second World War.  How her birth parents relationship was not acceptable out of wedlock nor due to it being interracial or so we were told. Who truly knows? 

 

That was it.  

 

But it still felt very therapeutic just being very literal about the facts. We knew what we knew and that was that. I embraced the ‘difference’ and celebrated it instead of being shrouded in shame. It was liberating. It marked the start of an era. 

 

The next chapter was to travel.

To fulfill an ambition.

 

So I turned 25 and two weeks later I was traveling 6000 miles to Tokyo, Japan by myself.

It was exciting. A new found confidence emerged and talking more about my mums background became easier. As did meeting new people and exploring a new culture.  Albeit East Asian not South Asian. But it was one of the best experiences of my life. 

Which led to more intrigue. How do I found out more? What are the procedures to retrieve more information? How would my mum feel about it? And her Father, my grandfather who was very dear to us? 

A lot of questions to be answered. A lot of avenues to explore. It suddenly felt overwhelming.