genealogy signifies progression over time. This is a (re)telling of my experience with familial relationships and a personal place within my own genealogy and a first slide in the showcase of my growth as an artist. 

Through photography, poetry and film, I explore what was revealed to me about my place in my family during therapy in 2016 whilst I was dealing with depression. These works as a whole detail familial disparity and loneliness as well as celebrating what family is, was and what it can be.

youngest sister, Geneve (1 of 5 sisters)


youngest brother, Ikay (1 of 5 brothers)


dad, Errol


step dad, Shiloh


grandma, Iva


music by Ellis Aaron



what does it mean to be a fine brush stroke

in an intimate portrait

or a singular strand of wool in knitted clothing?

is it to be bound to the others

bound to you

or to fray and dance your way out of bondage?

do mothers long gone still sustain your body and your heart?

do they still pray for your soul?

like branches, we are limbs

grasping at oxygen for our body to grow,

hunting sunlight on english days.

and just like autumn leaves we too will be

piled up to be mulch

for a next generation of trees.


those that came before planted their roots deep,

irremovable from culture.

their musks remain imbued in city streets and rocking chairs.

hymns inlaid in the fabric of string vests and woolly hats

protected us from the wiles of prepubescence ,

all while we clung to them.

homes where sarcoghagi lie

are filled with family portraits,

governed by a soundscape of records on wax.

our many faces immortalised in

forgotten youth and wisps of

fearless, dreamlike thought.

we remember the times we went to war for brothers and cousins,

ending up with our skins surrendered to belts, slippers and tongue lashings

to then return as a hero to the frontline.

enamoured with the songs of our tribes

we latch onto each other like babies to teats

reminiscing on the ignorance of life’s hardships.


now we may ask what it means to stand alone during a joyous scene,

as if we were the earths centre

and simultaneously apart from it.

why sometimes turning water into wine

is as much of a miracle as feeling present

and if our presence was more than just an after thought.

we wonder if we share the characteristics of a spare piece in a puzzle -

fitting only as a replacement for another,

misplaced in an empty room.

or if we’d inherited from hardships

the leather skin of a reared calf and

sheeps wool sheared for a cloak of invisibility.


but even if we are Menan in a line of majesty,

we are love.

given away and kept selfishly for the nourishment of many parties.

raised by countless more, we are wheat.

spread across six thousand acres.

A grinding, unending yet fulfilling venture.

we are sultry, hardy bass;

rooted in rhythms that blossomed into wading waters on stormy nights.

chastened by failures yet spurred on by faith.

we are one of many openings to a future

that stretches long past our imaginations

with abrahamic responsibilities we’ll be oblivious to…

and like the seas which took advantage of the cracks

in the tectonics of earth,

we’ll lay down, for our bones to be washed over.

for our names to be written over again.

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