Lost Under Still Currents

An experimental and concurrent offshoot of We become abstract, Lost under still currents, is a series of early experiments attempting to consider the portrait that solidifies fame and celebrity. All of the people depicted in this body of work are people of colour who have offered a significant contribution to history but are not generally well known. My overall aim is to question how we see people, especially people of colour. By not featuring any detail of their face or skin, and only hair and clothes, the viewer is presented with a more hollow image, depicting elements that are meta to the individual.

Through the paintings I am asking who is the person, how are they remembered (or forgotten) and who owns the memory of them. Moreover, does the image of an individual become a free-for-all after their death? Beyond celebrity, the paintings also explore notions of how we remember. A study by neuroscientists at University of Leicester found that we have neurons that only fire when photographs, illustrations or
associated words/images of a particular person are shown. They found that the same neuron fired even when a celebrity’s name was shown. I wanted to push the idea of unfamiliarity to the limit by extracting what remnants impose the familiarity.

Lost Under still currents

 Lost at sea
 Or at least in rivers
 between lands
 Melting into situations
 As an outsider
 Only for short times
 This way of being is
 A ballet for those
 Without a fixed abode
 Into places
 Which aren’t for them
 A thicket of thoughts
 Cause worry
 In this fizzing mind
 A worry asks
 Is it because
 I don’t sit for long
 Or maybe that I can’t
 Is it because
 I sit alone
 Without a trance
 written on faces
 a mental enunciation
 screaming rainbow