Linga-Franca: 2006- 2009 (F.S.)

 
THEMES:Identity/Cultural Memory/Narratology.
 
This series, which resulted in twenty five paintings was the outcome of three years work. The ideas in it as a series of heavy impasto style paintings/collages began earlier with the Genealogy [1990 ] series and the work called Playing with Scripts [2005], developed as collages in Kerala, India.The collective title is a play on words, in so far as it was adapted from the idiom: lingua-franca;  refering to how languages in  has changed over time affected by  history and geography. Linga-Franca  is an attempt at the portmanteau concept: to bring together diverse disciplines [anthropology; linguistics and aspects of  'cultural  memory'] as a creolisation of disciplines structured as 2D images.
 
'Silk Routes' [a term invented in the 19c.] have offically vanished in time, through endless new borders, and so is lost to time; it was originally a route between the Mediterrean and the Yellow Sea.Focusing on this 'geographical domain' formed the staring point of the artwork which appears in total as a series of imaginary maps.I started this work when I discovered my mitochonrial DNA linked me to that prevalent in Central Asia. In the Linga- Franca series I wanted to allow the production of artwork to lead me through this 'retracing of footsteps' journey, [to record and note down the changing scripts,and languages once current within this domain, were focused on as "evidence" of the ancient cultures that created them] as though I myself as artist were a journeying nomad in the present. I anticipated  this mimetic 'process' might contribute to the notion of the creolisation of cultures.
 
What I discovered over a three year period [as discursive formations] sometimes pulled out a treasure -trove from   histories of Mesopotamia and beyond. Much of thefollow-up research was  done in the form of drawings from the archeological displays at the British Museum that were also used in the making of the final collaged 2D structures. In total there were three A3 sketchbooks and also some small paintings of specific individual alphabets from Aramaic-Sanskrit which formed the content of a large part of the final exhibition.I travelled to India and North Africa during this period to experience a sense of cultural distance from life in the Uk. [My family originally  arrived here in 1557 as 'converted' Jews or Muslims, collectively named 'Franks'.This fact may beg the question: from where did they travel and what were there ancestral cultural memories?] This series responds to the notion of wondering/journeying and diapora.
 
The 25 paintings were first  shown at the HAY HILL Gallery, Cork Street,Mayfair, London, W1, in June  2009.
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Ancient Middle Eastern scripts merged Linga-Franca 1:'Routes Manoeuvring' .
Ancient Middle Eastern scripts merged Linga-Franca 2:'Routes Manoeurving' .
Linga_Franca: 3:'Routes Manoeurving'
Linga-Franca 7:'Routes Manoeurving'