Stranger In The Village – A Visual Essay

Stranger In The Village – A Visual Essay

Phoebe Boswell, Visual Artist

Artist’s Talk at Bla Stallet Konsthallen,
Angered, Gothenburg, Sweden

September 2015

The term ‘residency’ is an interesting one to me – it offers a sense of belonging, of being present, resident, which is artificial of course since you are more often than not placed somewhere you have no connection with, no ties to, no friends in, and no reason for being there, except of course to make work. Belonging is something I think a lot about in my work. A tutor at the Slade once said to me that you make work to ‘fill a hole’, and the difficulty lies in determining within us what that hole is. Mine, I realise, is ‘home’, or a lack of it, and I’m fascinated by how, as human beings, we each individually negotiate our personal sense of belonging.

To give a little history, I’m from Kenya. My father’s family settled there from Britain three generations before him, bought land and farmed it, and he grew up bearing the guilt of a colonial system within his home, much to his dismay.

My mother’s family are Kikuyu, and of course it was the Kikuyu who set up the Mau Mau who fought for Kenya’s independence from the British, and won it in 1963…

Read the entire article here.