The House of Small Things
Born in Sri Lanka, I arrived in Britain when I was ten. My mother and I travelled by boat on a 7,000 mile journey, which took 21 days. The enormous impact of this journey on my life is only now emerging in my work.
The House of Small Things derives from the belated but powerful understanding of what became of my childhood. Caught in the cultural clash between East and West my life was driven forward by currents from both, to produce a surreal mixture shared by many first generation exiles. The images are interior shots of a dolI's house that I brought with me on my journey from Sri Lanka to London, the doll's house bears the traces of childhood 're-decorations', as I tried to make both the toy and myself 'fit in' with my new home in Brixton. Thus, blue nylon carpet and floral wallpaper now covers the original varnished wood and hand-painted surfaces, so that the doll and toy furniture seem incongruous in their new surroundings.
Returning to the house with the questioning eye of an adult gaze, l inflated the scale of the tiny rooms, creating a tense uncertainty between child and adult worlds and between memory and make-believe, confinement and belonging.