Being an immigrant to the UK and living in times of the recent Brexit referendum, my response to the commission was to counteract rising xenophobia and racism in public discourse. I was paired with two academics, Dr Alena Pfoser and Lisa Pilgram, to exchange ideas with and have conversations about the topics and larger contexts which helped clarify my approach to the artwork. You can read more about this process and their academic viewpoints in this interview and in this blog post.
I collected stories of solidarity from individuals in person and via social media, focusing on everyday acts of kindness to highlight empathy and the power of small, positive actions. I illustrated selected stories onto cardboard boxes that were stacked into a colourful sculpture, giving the audience permission to touch and move the artwork. The tactile experience invited visitors to spend a longer time with the sculpture and immerse themselves into the stories.(continued below...)
“I was quietly moved”
“I feel a mixture of awful and awesome”
“It gives me hope. It’s so easy to dismiss people and think the worst of them.”
“It’s a good reminder of the benevolence of people”
The installation has also been shown at Loogabarooga Festival and at Loughborough University.