It took me about forty years to become an artist. Before that, I was dropped on my head, migrated twice, was a campaigner-journalist on environmental issues, and completed a PhD in Architecture which included a post-colonial and critical view of urban planning and the development of new modes of field research and engaged photography. Before that, I studied Art History, teaching, and critical & curatorial studies. I have taught in several universities, and then as part of my practice created a not-for-profit art organisation – The Socially Engaged Art Salon - which promotes socially engaged art and artists from underrepresented communities.
When I was asked once in a job interview what I do as an artist I replied “trouble”. I didn’t get the job but since then I have got to show my work at Tate Britain, Turner Contemporary, Parliament Square, Trafalgar Sqaure in London and in Zion Square in Tel Aviv where I had to escape the police, at the South Bank Centre, at the People’s History Museum, in Jaffa's Arab-Jewish Camp for Social Justice where I created a book with teenagers of homeless families, on a rooftop of Detroit’s deserted train station, and in many other galleries and museums in the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Israel-Palestine and South Africa.
My art is based on my lived experiences of intersectionality as a migrant, person of colour, and neurodivergent queer. My art is research-based and the projects I do are often created through engagement with other people and communities who have similar experiences.
Much of my work has been created collaboratively with various communities through workshops in diverse media and scales. I have been commissioned to do such work by many charities, art organisations and museums including Counterpoints Arts, Platforma, Art Reach, the Mayor of London, Brighton & Hove City Council, Tate Modern, Pump House Gallery, Brighton Museum, Brighton LGBTQ+ Pride, Sussex University, The World-Reimagined project, and several schools in Brighton and London.
My practice is very diverse in themes, practices and media. It is not easily digested. When I was asked recently what my art is about, I said it is less a question of what it is about but more about what it does. In a world where so many people are marginalised, displaced and excluded, I hope my art makes a place.