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Artist Statement

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I work within a painting practice. My territory focuses on portraiture and oil painting.

I mainly use oil paints with an acrylic base painting similar to grisaille enamel, a painting technique using entirely grey shades to under paint. However in France grisaille has also become a technique using monotone translucent oils which has more of an influence on my work. I use acrylics so the vibrancy of colour shines through and enhances the pigment of the oil paint. These mediums help me to convey light, evoke reflection and refraction within the natural elements like water. This monotone technique mirrors ideas of ambiguity within my work. As the blue filter is a direct reference to hiding skin colour. With skin colour being removed from the equation the ethnic background of the figure becomes more ambiguous and we are left with a person stuck between two worlds.

My work continuously surrounds the theme of identity. My previous body of work looked at the acceptance of traumatic events that broke me away from feeling connected to myself and ideas of femininity and the reunion of appreciating my body and skin once again. This project moves away from femininity as the focal point but remains deeply rooted in identity. I am exploring how to portray my heritage and celebrate my cultural ancestry through painting. My great grandmother immigrated to the countryside after marrying a British solider. She originally lived in hong kong. My ancestors came from a small island in the Azores called São Jorge then moved to china. At this point in history this happened a lot a new ethnic group was made, which is Macanese. Macanese is different to the Macau people and there have been many political moves to cover up the Macanese group and the separate names but none of these bills have passed. The Macanese history is very complicated and there are many issues these people have faced as their land was constantly colonised. For the majority it was owned by the Portugueses. Through my work I aim to celebrate the brighter points of the culture, because so many different places had influence on their land it expanded every aspect of what their culture. Though there still are political reasons behind this, my work does not focus on the politics of Macanese history it rather works as a thank you letter to my ancestors for all their sacrifices so I can be where I am today. It stands to show my love and appreciation for my families background.

The work has been influenced by Shane McCrae’s poem book ‘sometimes I never suffered’ which alludes to mixed heritage and ethnicity effecting ones out look on the world and how one navigates it. This navigation feeling like a state of purgatory, neither belonging to either worlds entirely. My painting ‘Thicker than water’ presents a half submerged women, the water acting as a metaphor for being caught between two worlds. The source imagery is not a portrait but however comes from family photography, collaging an accumulation of their features.

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