Layers of family history are built up in this work, overshadowed by WW2 warplanes and and the news from a recently discovered issue of the Daily Mirror from 1940.
The smiles belie the surrounding tragedies, both personal and historical.
Found photograph from my grandfather’s collection:
This image really interests me – is she the Bugandan princess who visited my grandparents on their island in Kenmare Bay? To quote Michel Foucault and his philosophies of heterotopias ‘the boat is a floating piece of space, a place without a place, that exists by itself, that is closed in on itself and at the same time is given over to the infinity of the sea and that, from port to port, from tack to tack… it goes as far as the colonies in search of the most precious treasures they conceal in their gardens, you will understand why the boat has not only been for our civilization, from the sixteenth century until the present, the great instrument of economic development … but has been simultaneously the greatest reserve of the imagination. The ship is the heterotopia par excellence’.
I am also reminded of John Akomfrah’s work, as I discover his magnificent film making on the subject of migration and the sea.
And then a surprise on Wikipedia – as I research the Kabaka of Buganda – who do I see staring out from my computer screen, but my maternal grandparents. Long gone, but now uploaded, the image labelled ‘Muwenda Mutebi II, Ireland, 1966’
I see them standing on my patio, layers of history revisited, asking questions I have not discovered yet.