FAMILY PORTRAIT

A series that is a work in progress:

Indo-Guyanese

Many of the stories we hear about immigration from the Caribbean don’t include people of Indian descent… brown people, but there are many.

These paintings are based on black and white photographs of my late grandpa and my grandmother with her sisters and mother, taken in 194o’s Guyana. My family history moves from India to Guyana (probably as indentured workers) then to London, with a few detours and back-and-forths in-between.

I’ve guessed and imagined the colours – the piece that depicts my Grandpa, with the overly saturated colours reminds me of the story books about the west indies that I read as a child growing up in the 80s in Haringey – except I never saw people that were like my family reflected in those books, nor in the books about India.
Studying these photos as I paint makes me feel just a little bit more connected the extent of the journey that got me here. Isn’t it funny how we project our own nostalgia onto old pictures…who knows what Grandad and Grandma were thinking when these photos were taken, or what they dreamt the future had in store.