Migration and Identity in the South Downs was an art research project which ran during Autumn and Winter 2022-2023 as part of my MA in Inclusive Arts Practice at the University of Brighton, working with a group of photographers in the South Downs National Park. Finding We is a creative response to this research.
Influenced by the park’s location on the coastline of the Channel, by my Irish culture’s history of border negotiations and emigration, and by what has been described as the UK’s ‘hostile environment’ to migrants, I asked:
‘How might a series of walks and workshops enable artistic conversations about migration and identity?’
During my research, I became particularly interested in how our group found ways to establish itself. Meeting and walking together created space for us to connect with each other and the landscape, and the project was shaped by a flow of communication between us.
My creative response is formed of three works: Finding We, a gold wire sculpture, String Memorial a photograph and US / THEM a map of the UK’s south coast outlined with red marker and with “US” written above the line “THEM” written below.