Threads to the past
An Installation- comprising 30 oil paintings on canvas– 2010-2013
“Threads to the past” captures moments, almost like Polaroid flashes, of three generations of my family’s history specifically the female line. This series of small oil paintings culminate in a collective installation where I connect the lives of my adopted kinfolk that have directly and indirectly influenced me.
Our family lineage helps construe an image of who we believe we are, or who we set out to be. Just as our inherited past contributes towards our identity. But does this history-line necessarily have to be a genetic one? The past of my adoptive family have played an integral role in my life and decision-making, and yet the mystery of my genetic lineage has indorsed a selective assimilation.So, the debate between - Nature vs. Nurture arises. What is life's make-up after all? Is it preordained or merely made up of coincidence and chance? Are we driven by circumstance or determined by our genes?In this series of works I have connected the lives of my adopted kinfolk that have directly & indirectly influenced me. I pinpoint and repeat in succession the chronological chapters or so called roles of each female kin– from baby- infant- child- young adult- newly wed- mother/parent, culminating in the family unit. In creating this series of paintings, I was struck by the transience and finality of each profile & how our individual stories make-up the whole “tree”. Each scenario is limited and propelled by its specific time / age. Hopes, desires and decisions are conditioned by the society to which they belong and cannot escape the influence of shared expectations and memory. Yet, however wayward our heroin is, and regardless of the setting or period, a similar pattern emerges.