Locating and understanding the self is a journey in its own right. On such a journey much is revealed about the various characters that impact each situation and circumstance. There is, ostensibly, luggage that is carried. Luggage takes on many formats and guises and in my assessment of my own journey, my most significant luggage is that of thirteen Others. In this regard, I am one but yet many. Therefore, my work has been a multifaceted exploration of these Others that are external to myself. Through the use of fibrous material and objects in relation to the Other, I have explored the impact and intrusion of the Other on the self, and also the reverse.
Attempting to understand the self in relation to the Other can be an enterprise in conflict. My art manifests such conflicts, especially given that the level of impact of the Other guides the direction of the artworks produced, and perhaps make the works autobiographical and confessional. This representation of the Other is also discussed in my thesis project, “Luggage of the Other”. This project explores theories of the Other and psychoanalysis (in the works of Emmanuel Lévinas, Jean Laplanche, Hanna Segal and others) and projects the Other as both object and person, as internal and external, and has led to the manipulation of subtle but yet conspicuous forms that capture both literal and metaphorical meanings in the forms of sculpture, photography, video and text.
Peculiarities define the relationships between the I and the Other(s). Each time the luggage of the Other is released it finds another route to invade the I. In my work, a re-enacting of past experiences and emotions as they relate to these Others are constant and continuous (as Hanna Segal suggests regarding the work of some other artists). In my work the Others have become structural elements created around the central being, the I. Stuck in a state of perpetually reliving the past rather than moving forward, I am challenged with issues of letting go of the luggage created by these thirteen. However, for me the re-enactment is not a matter of mourning, as Segal states, but a revelation and enlightenment. Apparently, this is a journey to understand the self and is one whereby I constantly recreate the same situations with different results.