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.
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.