I am exploring familial inheritance and our life experience, nature and nurture, diaspora, and our place in the world.
My fundamental idea is centred around the fact that we are made up of many layers; where and how we are brought up, our family, our friends and where we travel to enable us to develop into the individuals we become.
At first, we are moulded by our families and their myriad influences, but as we grow and make our own choices, whilst navigating the world, we gradually choose our own paths.
We are both nature and nurture – formed by the present and our past. How much do we control, and what is preordained? We are often told we resemble our relatives, and that we have similar characteristics to ancestors. This leads me to wonder which unknown influences continue to shape us as we age.
When we meet new people our first impressions are formed from the visual: looks, age, mannerisms – all our inherent characteristics. Our reaction to each other is gathered from all these influences. Those whose features single them out as different to us, sometimes through migration to a new country, may never feel they belong to any particular group of people.
Now, in the 21st century, a new layer has been added to those chance inherited layers: social media. We make spontaneous judgements – both good and bad – about each other, whilst very rarely meeting face to face. We can hide behind our screens and throw barbs, further alienating one another.