"Influenced by the multifaceted nature of my personal relationship to my ancestry and the wider diasporic experience, I explore my connection with Jamaica and England and its dark interweaving history.
I aim to reveal some less talked about, brutal realties of the colonisation of Jamaica and West Africa, while juxtaposing the inherent grace of Black life. Investigating this in painting and sculpture, whilst subverting the traditional materials used in western art. My practice attests to the relationship between the political and the visual, where I commit to grappling with the forces of systemic violence and epistemic silence, specifically within British culture.
I examine the multidimensional nature of painting, exploring its character in different untraditional formats, from the sharp contrasting colours used on top of sturdy cut out figures in plywood, to the visceral cascading pouring of molasses in video format.
Jarring clashes of orange stripes against rhythmic lines of blues and greens, bodily slashes of crimson red; I allow colour to serve as a punctuation of the narrative I am conveying, but also to generate a means of entering a known, memorable space. I give colour symbolism, from research into western conventions of colour, as well as traditional Jamaican and West African culture and folklore. Likewise, I investigate the traditions and representations of food, and its role within the artistic context but also the wider cultural history of the black Jamaican diaspora."
- Maya Simms
- Maya Simms