I am… revolves around the ideas of displacement, memory and recreating the familiar. The work specifically draws from my experiences of migration from Pakistan to Australia, and reflects upon the construction of a new personal identity.
From the perspective of a migrant's frame of reference, the desire to belong somewhere and be someone is in a constant state of flux. This can inevitably present a sense of an unstable foundation, for the experiences that culminate in the construction of one’s personal identity are often shifting and illusory but they contrast, in equal measure, with the desire to feel the connection and constancy of home. This body of work seeks to find a balance between these fundamental realities of human experience.
Containers whether in the form of a vessel, suitcase, pocket or house have become an iconic feature of my migration experience, after a stock-take of my belongings resulted in keeping only the most vital and discarding the rest. The use of the image of pockets became an apt metaphor for the intimate space where one’s fond remembrances are kept, made more pointed still as the pocket lies close to the heart.