UK, London, Royal College of Art, 2019
The dual meaning of the word ‘petrified’ is intriguing: to be so scared that one cannot move and, for organic matter like wood, turning to stone over time. This exemplifies the importance that material can have in the wider scope of language and communication. The material used to make an artwork can dictate much of its meaning. Metamorphosis is central to all of the narratives in my current body of work.
Queen Nanny, for example, is made of gold, a material with a history and social significance as deep as the earth it was dug from. Queen Nanny’s portrait is depicted on Jamaican money – and here it is made in one of the materials we most associate with wealth. Material perceptions and the way in which they affect our understanding of semiotics and social hierarchies continue to push my work into new territories. I try to emulate a sense of preciousness and desire through beautiful but emotionally challenging works.