My artistic practice encompasses film, photography, video, theatre and music. My work conveys socio-political themes that touch my heart and are a reflection of how I perceive the world around me. I am interested in various concepts of home, the homeland and in some instances, domicide. Domicide is “the deliberate destruction of home by human agency in the pursuit of specific goals, which causes suffering to the victims” (Porteous /Smith 2001:12).
The removal of a person from their home, either by force or by chicanery can be found in the example of human trafficking. I am specifically interested in the disturbing phenomenon of forced prostitution and the exploitation of those who have fallen prey to it. I look at the social network of how it is successfully woven into our social fabric, whilst simultaneously remaining invisible to the person on the street. This subject is covered in my documentary film (work in progress) and a photo series of the same title called “Love Thy Neighbour” (see photos “Playground” and “Protection”, and “Under The Sun”).
The Grenfell Tower fire that claimed the lives of 72 residents whilst displacing hundreds of families is an example of a socio-symbolic domicide, a consequence stemming from the neo-liberalist governmental policies of the British government. As a former resident of the borough of Kensington and Chelsea I felt obliged to visit the tower, meet the community and share in their bereavement. I did some voluntary work at the local Methodist Church, documented events and took portraits and landscape photos from that intense period of suffering.
My series “Borders” refers to the geo-political consequences of forced migration as a consequence of domicide represented in the refugees based at a Federal Asylum Office, a first reception centre in Traiskirchen, Lower Austria. I went there in the summer of 2015 when extra helping hands were needed due to the massive influx of newcomers. I brought along some supplies (mainly toiletries), a camera and met the residents, some of whom were willing to be photographed.
It is shoes and feet that lead one through life, either to safety or to one’s demise. My research into shoes has lead me to develop my feminist theories which extends to my visual artworks too. I began to explore Freud’s Oedipus complex and castration anxiety as well as fairy tales such as Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Red Shoes.” They have been integral to my long term photo and video series “Self-Destructive Female Icons” and their genealogical relationship to the goddess Aphrodite (conceived from a castration).
Iconological meanings in our contemporary society have shifted value in the last 100 years and now canter nefariously along the wiggly and confusing road of fame, worship, envy, glamour and capitalism. On an everyday level, women who wear high heels could represent a fetishist type of patriarchal oppression with castration anxiety at its helm. The long term physical harm high heels can cause feet (being phallic), legs and even the spine make the phrase, “my feet are killing me!” quite literal.