As a first generation Canadian raised by immigrant parents and grandparents, I have struggled to establish my personal identity in relation to my religion and family history. My artwork is deeply influenced by my Spanish/Moroccan heritage, and my Sephardic roots. Working primarily in mixed-media collage and printmaking, I challenge the traditional identities and gender roles ingrained in the Sephardic culture, and seek to construct new meaning in the images I create.
Collection is an integral process for my practice. Through my travels I gather family photos and found images, mixing them with my own photography documenting people, textiles, and architecture I observe. I’m drawn to the elegant images of generations of North African and Middle Eastern cultures women in ornate traditional wear. The Sephardic culture is beautiful, like eating fresh fruit with honey, but there is a sour taste, too, that requires women to quietly conform. The expectation is often that women should marry and have children. I am profoundly connected to the women in my family and of my culture, but disconnected from the role I am meant to inhabit as a woman.
In an effort to say what is left unsaid, I alter the subjects of my images by obscuring or removing identifiable features. They become archetypal representations telling their stories through colours, marks and gestures, and motif. This process of layering and removal is a negotiation between my cultural heritage and my desire to imagine new roles and identities within it.