The Path Is Made By Walking
‘The Path is Made by Walking’ considers attitudes to belonging and place. The work stems from experiences as a multiracial N.Irish person, aiming to balm feelings of otherness and dislocation from past racism. The project is conscious of how these feelings are shared by others from different backgrounds, where a sense of belonging to a place becomes conditional via othering or discrimination. The project uses Neil Leach’s theory of performative belonging as a conceptual framework. In which belonging can be performed and a ‘sense of home constituted by a set of familiar actions’. Both can be forged through repetition and ritual, where the body becomes a ‘site of introjection’, allowing for any place to be reclaimed.
Through photography, interactive media and video; place/belonging, memory/being are linked to reclaim a place, unconditionally. In the long exposure photos; rituals or memories are re-enacted in their place of origin. The resulting images become receipts of belonging to this place. The remaining works explore being in a place long enough to constitute belonging, through reflecting on heartbeats as subconscious repetitive actions to ground a sense of home in the body.