Shortlisted for Duality, the St Michael’s Exhibition and Archangel Prize, exploring of two sides in the real or imagined world, St Michael’s Grammar School, Melbourne in 2011.
This was the first of a portrait series exploring the duality of citizenship – the cultural identity and identification – of African women from various nationalities who have migrated to and become citizens of Australia. I envisaged each woman wearing a medallion identifying her place of origin, and the traditional colourful head-wrap, claiming both her cultural identity and the space she inhabits in her newly adopted homeland. By photographing the women against an elaborately patterned backdrop of African cloth representing their heritage, I wished to celebrate the threads of enrichment and embellishment that they weave into the magic carpet of our multi-dimensional, pluralist society. I also wished to acknowledge their resilience and hope, which in many cases, rises and flourishes out of personal and social dislocation and darkness.
Archival pigment print, 800mm x 800mm
2011 – Duality, St Michael’s Exhibition & Archangel Prize, St Michael’s Grammar School, Melbourne Australia
Pam Kleemann © 2011