Brent based artist Yasmin Nicholas has developed new collage works The Children of the Sugar centering personal and collective histories that form Brent’s identity.
Her collages bring together community portraits, archival images and the words of four poems she has written ‘The Wind Rushed In’, ‘Back Home’, ‘Fingerprints’ and ‘Higher’.
The work is shared on public signage boards, the windows of local businesses and bus stops throughout the borough, using these spaces not as advertising but as public and community notices.
Posters are presented in places of personal care and maintenance, spaces of care, gossip and relationships, and a limited run is available to take away and display in kitchens, bedrooms, domestic places. The work signals to past and present stories, personal and collective experiences and their contemporary entanglements and differences.
Yasmin's work also uses poetry as the main medium. Through the deconstructive use of her metaphor, 'breadfruit' and the representation of ancestors, the culture is re-imagined as generations are distanced.
Yasmin Nicholas grew up and lives in North West London. She is third generation Caribbean (Dominican and St Lucian descent).
Nicholas’ work consists of a mixed media including poetry, photography, film and sowing, accounts of daily life, drawing attention to particular experiences, identity, race and diaspora and Caribbean culture.
She also uses the presence of her ancestors within her film work. This imagery comes with a fantasy type spectre who represents an ancestor in a traditional ‘Wob’, a dress dating back to the 18th Century due to French and English colonies. In addition to the influence of linguistic identities, Nicholas’ work includes as well a play on language including the fusion of the ‘dominance’ of English and the ‘domestic’ of Kwéyòl, which is spoken in various Caribbean countries including Dominica and St Lucia. Also using the image of ‘Breadfruit’, a fruit used as a Caribbean delicacy as a metaphor, which focuses on the condition of language.
Supported by Art Fund
Photography courtesy of Thierry Bal