This was projected onto a moveable screen installation for my final fine art foundation piece.
Whats it about?
Yearning to Breathe…. Is taken from a poem by Emma Lazarus, the poem that is inscribed on the base of the Statue of Liberty. It is a line that I return to again and again as I feel it expresses so much about the migration of people across the world, seeking to breathe free. It also expresses so much about human beings yearning desire for freedom in more general terms; freedom from abuse, persecution, racism, sexism, homophobia, bullying…. all of the difficulties we face in our lives – experiences/threads that link us to each other.
I am an Irish immigrant in Britain, I came with my family in the mid 1980's at a time when anti Irish racism was rampant, even at the age of 6 I was singled out for bullying. It was contradictory for me, because leaving Ireland meant my escape from abuse; yet here I was surrounded by people who hated me. As a child I desparately wanted to fit in, abandon all my Irish connections, become someone new, someone who everyone loved, someone strong, someone happy; I lost myself for a while then I found that I was all of those things and more, a fighter for freedom and equality, a proud Irish woman, lesbian and activist.
In truth this piece ended up darker than I had expected, this reflected my struggle with physical illness throughout the project and increasing despair. Surviving is always a struggle, always a fight.