WENDY MANEL de SILVA
This project started with a personal exploration of what it means to be mixed race, as well over a million people living in the UK are. Each of us has two sides, conjoined.
My work reflects on time lived in Sri Lanka and England. I’ve been dredging up distant memories and interweaving my recent past into them.
Inhabiting and Journeying audio 4’2’’
Kankesanthurai Cement Factory 15x15x15cm
white bread, latex, phototransfer, wire, mace
I felt my way into how to explore this connectedness, started by making two-sided objects and experimenting with weaving and folding. I sometimes use materials that are in themselves fragile or bland which might acquire strength and/or stature by being juxtaposed. Raw materials include eastern commodities used for trade such as spices, gems, rubber and tea. These are layered and interlaced with western materials that have a particular personal resonance for me. Sliced white bread for example.
Mining my western family heritage, I unearthed unexpected archives of papers, photographs, paintings and objects. I work in many media and in both two and three dimensions. I use a phototransfer technique; apply acrylic medium or PVA glue and then rub the back of a print selectively to reveal a transmuted source image.
Keeping Up 185x80cm
tempera, paper, photo transfer, PVA, blackout fabric, photograph on acetate, fabric, canvas stretcher
Offering / Puja video 3’22’’
The rawness of my artefacts is an attempt to provide the curious viewer a sideways glimpse into my life by sharing a few of my insights.
I believe that personal experiences are a route to uncovering some universal truths.