Yesterday I went back to the studio and actually made something.
What I did realise, was that I was trying to encompass too many things into what I would consider my identity; trying to consider too many factors all at once, which always left my head spinning and in less clarity that at the beginning. This was counter-productive and the complete opposite of what I have intended to do in the first place. And that has been setting me back for some time now.
I’ve realised that yeah, I can’t be trying to plot one representational map of time (of my life) without actually deconstructing it a little first – if anything, for my own sake, and for the sake of my mental health because trying to taking everything into consideration all at once was often too much, and meant that I would get stuck in the long-run. So, from yesterday I decided to take baby steps: we shall therefore deconstruct what I mean by ‘my bi-cultural’ identity and the lack of clear belonging – the constant feeling of ‘otherness’ despite being raised by these two places/cultures/identities.
So, looking at the above drawing tile, drawings 2 and 3, came out sporadically but at that moment I began thinking about the geographical movements (migrations – forced and voluntary) that took place in my family over the last century – and that is what I abstractly plotted here. It also made me realise that what I’m feeling here right now isn’t necessarily occurance of this sort within my family, but I’m unsure as to how they (my past family members) would have felt about their move. Yes, their experience was more forced, however would there have been such a big struggle to adjust culturally – maintaining what they did before, whilst adapting these new elements into their daily lives and identities?
Drawing 4, on the tile, was a simple but long meditation process for me, where I reflected on the ideas that I have used in my drawings for last couple of months. It was an attempt at sitting down with this idea and being quite critical with myself – was this all that I had to say? was this the direction I wanted my work to have? why is this time mapping of my life important? what is this lacking? would I be satisfyied if this was the thing people looked at and took away from? or does it not tell the full story?? Don’t think that the narrow narrative that it presents is enough to demonstrate the complexity of this feeling – it’s definetly only a starting point here.
The next two drawings: 5 and 6, are of the same consept. I was trying to see how I could plot out or map out my Polish and British identities, throughout my lifespan to date – paying attention to patterns and correlations between the events in my life and how I felt on that scale. So, these two show my identification with the two cultures/nationalities across my life, on a scale divided into two. And as you might notice I mainly identify as Polish, although my Brit side has been on a steady incline for a little while. Then when I went to uni, that’s where there was a massive decline in feeling British and a strong incline in my Polishness, which probably came out of it being challenged and in a way me being displaced once again. Anyway that’s something to think about.
List of conditions/factors to map out:
- the idea of the ‘here’ or ‘home’ as seen through my eyes, throughout my life so far
- Polish-British identity scale and comparisson (done but might want to keep referring back to)
- experiencing Polish and British culture – how did/do they overlap to solidify my identity/ties?
- who am I right now? – instead of trying to map out how I’ve felt up until this point, maybe stretching out and mapping how I’m feeling right here, right now would be a better way to go? instead of going to the past trying to find what I already know deep down, I would more closely disect my relationship to my national and cultural identities and therefore the way I am now, and how I identify now after so many years of various encounters across the two cultures – explore the weird phenomenon of being brought up by them and ending up as I am here