Finding We is a creative response to my art research, working with a group of photographers in the South Downs National Park.
Influenced by the park’s location on the coastline of the Channel, by my Irish culture’s history of border negotiations and emigration, and by what has been described as the UK’s ‘hostile environment’* to migrants, I asked:
‘How might a series of walks and workshops enable artistic conversations about migration and identity?’
During my research, I became particularly interested in how our group found ways to establish itself. Meeting and walking together created space for us to connect with each other and the landscape, and the project was shaped by a flow of communication between the participants and I.
I created two photographic prints and a gold wire sculpture. The wire sculpture is experimental, reflecting the new meanings we made together and my developing relationship with Inclusive Arts Practice. The wire is lustrous and malleable, capable of holding new shapes and, if formed carefully, of supporting itself.
Please visit my website to learn more about the project, and to find resources and route-maps of the walks we took together.
*The term ‘hostile environment’ describes all government policies which make life difficult for migrants living in the UK. Specifically, it is a set of policies introduced in 2012 by the then-Home Secretary Theresa May, with the intention of making life in the UK unbearably difficult for those who cannot show the right paperwork. As she said at the time; “The aim is to create, here in Britain, a really hostile environment for illegal immigrants.” (JCWI, https://jcwi.org.uk/the-hostile-environment-explained, retrieved June 2023)