Reflection on my works 2016-2024

The thematic connection in my artworks lies in my exploration of memory, history, and art. I'm captivated by collective memory — the way recent events are perceived, shared, and reshaped through media and interpersonal exchanges among those who experienced them. I recognise the inherent unreliability of memories, influenced by biases and subject to divergence among individuals, which can lead to polarisation and conflicting narratives. I'm particularly intrigued by the gap between how we perceive and distort past events now versus how we experienced them then.

Upon reflection on my projects — "When The Power Has Gone," "We Are All In It Together," and "On Becoming An Immigrant" — a recurring theme emerges: the fading impact of significant events from collective memory, despite their profound societal effects.

Beginning with the most recent, the COVID-19 crisis, which inspired the project "We Are All In It Together," has gradually faded from my thoughts. It no longer occupies my daily conversations, and when it is discussed, memories are often diluted or interpreted differently from my own recollections. Over the past month, I've observed how memories of the pandemic are fading and becoming more neutralised over time, especially for those who did not experience personal tragedies or long-term effects like long COVID. However, my artistic endeavours aim to keep these events in focus, offering alternative narratives that challenge existing biases and interpretations.

The recent COVID inquiry, broadcasted at the end of 2023, provided an opportunity to scrutinise collective memory and evaluate pandemic management by authorities. Personal recollections, clouded by bias, often lead to conflicts in perception compared to actual experiences. There's a tendency to exaggerate predictability in hindsight, distorting memories and reasoning — a phenomenon known as Hindsight Bias.

The Brexit vote of 2016, depicted in "On Becoming An Immigrant," dramatically altered the lives of many EU citizens in the UK, including myself. It shattered my sense of belonging and exposed the UK's decline, affecting citizens and migrants alike. Issues like food shortages, strained healthcare systems, environmental concerns, and underfunded social services have become pervasive. Instead of critically examining Brexit's consequences, its architects are knighted.

Approaching the 35th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9th, 2024, I'm compelled to reflect on shifting narratives and fading memories of life in the former German Democratic Republic (GDR) before 1989. Despite abundant evidence, memories blur and perceptions evolve. There's a tendency to romanticise the past and downplay personal roles within the system. This selective amnesia may serve as a coping mechanism but risks minimising the regime's impact and justifying inaction against it. The fading memories related to the GDR and its effects are explored in "When The Power Has Gone."

These visual projects all serve as a means of combating the erosion of memories from recent history, which directly impact my own life story.

I'm deeply intrigued by collective memory and its construction through various mediums like films, literature, and conversations with individuals who've experienced similar events.