As this year rounds out I have had a lot to think about and plenty to consider especially with the direction I have taken with my personal photographic work. I have always anchored my work around the people and places I have grown up and this has always played itself out in the work I have exhibited.
With my next body of work I have moved away from the stories of those around me to focus on the stories I have to tell about those around me and the way my environment has impacted on my growth and development. A lot more personal and in many ways a chance for me to share the experiences I have had growing up in two cultures in Aotearoa during the seventies, eighties and nineties.
"The Only Time" is the first image from this new body of work, a statement on cultural awareness, naivety and heartbreak. It reflects the few times I have worn traditional formal Samoan attire and the contradictions of both occasions on a personal level. The white of White Sunday reflected by the black of a Funeral. With one I would be in never ending conflict with my role as a good son and with the other I find peace in the role of the eldest son.
The theme of contradiction plays out with White Sunday my parents role in encouraging participation would build a resentment of a role I never played well in a religious spectacle I would never feel any connection to. With the black I am dressed to bury my mother, with it I come to terms with my mothers generation and their love of their culture, aiga and the roles offered and given during the process of saying goodbye to her and my cutting the biological link to their Samoa. The loss of that part of my link does not mean I lose what it is to be Samoan, I have the love and spirit that bound me to my parents but I am developing as a new type of Samoan - a onetime generation that bridges what was with what will become.
I love what I am seeing in the new work I am creating and as more of it comes to life I will share.