Collage Declarations

The beginning of an 11 part series. Based on text and ideas from Sara Ahmed’s Declarations of Whiteness.

declarations_collage_01
Declarations of Whiteness: I am a racist., collage on 100 lb acid free bristol, 35.6 x 43 cm (14 x 17 in), 2018
declarations_collage_02
Declarations of Whiteness: I am coloured too., collage on 100 lb acid free bristol, 35.6 x 43 cm (14 x 17 in), 2018

Skin Tags

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Skin Tags (British Vogue April 2011), paper on cotton rag paper, 55.8 x 76.2 cm, 2011
vogueSkin_April2011
Skin Tags (Vogue April 2011), paper on cotton rag paper, 55.8 x 76.2 cm, 2011
vogueSkin_May2011
Skin Tags (Vogue May 2011), paper on cotton rag paper, 55.8 x 76.2 cm, 2011
vogueSkin_Mar_21
Skin Tags (Vogue March 2012), paper on cotton rag paper, 76.25 x 100.3 cm (30 x 39.5 in), 2014
howToBe_10
Skin Tags (Vogue, Sep 2012 to Aug 2013), paper on cotton rag paper, 218.5 x 123 cm (85 x 49.5 in), 2015

 

My Mother Told Me

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My Mother Told Me, installation view at Emily Carr University of Art & Design, 2011

myMother_4
Joyce_Rosie

Text:

When I was being born, my mother says (whose second name was stupid, apparently), she was in labour for three days (eventually they took me out with forceps). While in the labour room at the hospital a black woman was brought in and put in the bed beside her. My mother, a newish immigrant (called damned DPs, I heard), tells me she had never been so close to a black person before (guess that depends where you come from). She felt afraid (of what?). She was suddenly feeling unsure of herself.  How do I talk to her, she thought. She had no idea how she should relate to this woman (like she’s not a person). She tells me, she felt afraid because she didn’t know how to act or what to say (except that’s never been a problem before). No words passed between them. My mother lay there passing the time with contractions. When I was six, my mother says, she was browsing in the downtown hardware store looking at dolls (they sold toys there in those days). She noticed a single black doll (I didn’t notice a lot of blacks in our town, but I recall the Chinese boarders that lived in our bedrooms after the divorce – I thought it was strange how you could see their fallen hairs on the pillows). She decided that she would buy it for me. She thought, she tells me, that if I played with a black doll that I would never have to feel afraid the way she had been.