(Dis)Placement, map clothes, 2011/2
This collection is firstly an exploration of the resonances between land (as represented by maps) and clothes – in that both surround us and to some extent define us, providing us with recognisable identities. There is also a degree of similarity between that which comes first hand (born into a land/country/nation, and clothes bought new), and that which comes second-hand (willing or forced migration to a new land, and second-hand clothes). For many people these issues of belonging and entitlement are subconscious and taken for granted.
For immigrants however, a primary issue of identity revolves around nationality; do they belong to the country of residence, or country of origin, or both? A secondary issue of identity concerns the clothes that immigrants choose to wear; clothes of the new, or the original culture, or a mixture of both.
I have focussed on the Jewish diaspora; on the experiences of Jews in different countries and in different eras, on their contributions to these places, on their movements from country to country and the reasons for it. Although the Holocaust is a part of some histories, the inclusion of maps and times where this is not the main issue allows for the growth of a broader understanding of Jewish people.
This work also has a general current relevance as it contains an implicit reflection on anyone’s place within a given landscape and how that can change overtime. It could be equally fascinating to create a series based on the Scottish or Irish diasporas.