Botanical Diaspora 'Wherever I hang me knickers that's me home' Grace Nichols
‘Wherever I hang me knickers – that’s me home.’ From a poem by Grace Nichols. (mixed media) 2018
‘Wherever I hang’ is a work inspired by Grace Nichols’ poem of the same name and suggests that home is where you live despite immigration. It explores the diaspora after colonialism and a return to the ‘mother land’ through the rose and protea. The process involved enlarging a pattern for normal size underwear and then joining the parts together. A mock pair was cut out and it became clear that the image designed in Photoshop needed to dissolve on the sides from one flower to the next as the pattern had a fabric fold to cut along. The fabric selected had to be semi-transparent so that the flowers themselves could symbolically merge like a cultural transference or movement. The mock pair was later turned into another work with more direct overlapping embroidered maps and the symbolic 'rose' that hints at the overlapping and diversity of culture as people migrate and travel. A metal frame suspends the work from the ceiling signifying the kind of suspension or limbo often felt by those who are caught between cultures. It also indirectly referenced barbed wire (something quite common in South Africa) and the uncomfortable fitting in period before we call a place 'home'.