Growing up Without an Echo (2000)

Fabric, wire houses, wooden tray, jappa, sacred text, kali yantra, sound work, swizzle sticks.

Dimensions variable Photo Credit - Charlotte Elias

Artist's Private Collection, The Milking Parlour, Walkers Dairy, St. George, Barbados

Growing up Without an Echo provides a map for the inner way – cartography for the soul, which recognizes the hybrid being. Many Caribbeans have grown up without an acknowledging an echo – the recognition of our similarities despite the differences. As the Middle Passage becomes modernised (instead of a slave vessel we have air travel) and as our lives become more stressful and challenging, a need to come home to the self increases.

The work offers a spiral for the viewer to participate in. Saint Augustine once said “It is solved by walking.” Walking the spiral allows the participant to experience the path and acknowledge the only thing we all have in common – a coming to terms of what it means to be human. At the centre of the spiral, displayed on a tray suspended by swizzle sticks, is a sacred text. This holy book offers an echo for my children and their complex white, Barbadian, Anglo, Creole, Indo-Irish, Catholic, Hindu, Trinidadian heritage. The work attempts to activate the echo of our Creole selves – across time, space and history.

Sacred Text (detail)

Telling Beads (detail)

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