Self-Portrait Contemplating Identity
About the work
I was born in Brisbane, and am connected to it through four generations within my family. Brisbane is a place filled with many memories for my family, and it is a place I hope to pursue my tertiary studies in the Arts. In this self-portrait, I set out to capture something about who I am: contemplative, with focused motivation.
When studying my appearance, I saw features of both my parents. I inherited my paternal family’s build. I have my maternal great-grandfather’s eye colour. I never met this man; a Romany Gypsy who emigrated from Scotland to Australia with my great-grandmother and their children. One of those children was my grandfather who believed that by remembering and telling our family’s stories we keep our ancestors alive.
During the process of completing this work I listened to stories about my great-grandfather and his ancestors. I remembered time spent with my grandfather and conversations we shared. In this self-portrait, I may have initially set out to capture my likeness, but I also found myself reflecting on the unique mix of genetic information and heritage I may have inherited from family I never met.