Using the spectral trace as a site to investigate spaces within femininity and racial erasure, Fresh and Clean creates a new form of folklore. These works are entrenched in my own ethnic heritage (Australian and Jamaican) shaped by post-colonial influences within Alberta. Fresh and Clean is a kind of baptismal ceremony, spiritually transforming the essence of one thing into another. In the Christian tradition, this rite is prompted by the community, family, and leader without consent from the person being baptized. Fresh and Clean challenges this euro-centric ritual by reclaiming the essence of transformation back to the subaltern through personal paganism.
Based on a Caribbean tale of an obeah vampire who is constantly swapping between two different worlds, the work embraces these gaps of duality within existence and its sensualized perception as ‘the other’. Fresh and Clean mimics this experience of being between two worlds by being thrown amidst transformation and metamorphosis as a way of conveying the experience of a biracial person. This bodily understanding is pronounced through abjection. I explored this relationship through three phases.
The Rebirth: The ritual anticipates when she wanted to reclaim her identity and restores order to herself and the spaces around her.
The Ovulator: The animal embodies the subaltern. A feral, discructive and instinctual being that isn’t human and cannot exist within society.
The Menstrual Monster: The woman who exists between death and life. She is a phenomenon who can adjust to spaces as a phantom.
With these in mind, I created an installation that reflected the materiality of the Island as well my inner discourse. By embracing the nature and its discarded remains, I was able to reimagine the space and connect to its unfamiliarity.
Old skin ’kin ‘kin
You na know me’
You na know me’
-Soucouyant, David Chariandy
Duppy engages with the fluidity of identity by drawing on Jamaican mannerisms and symbolism to connect my personal experience with racial erasure and sexism within Alberta. ‘Soucouyant’ a Caribbean folktale of a shape shifting phantom, cocoons herself with sagging flesh that fails to fit her real form underneath. Only when it is dusk, this monstrous feminine busts towards the sky, fooling as a falling star. Duppy uses this tale to physically capture the metamorphosis of living as the ‘other’ while being born into an environment of familiarity.
Then I emerged out of my cocoon like some new breed of butterfly 2017
Hand sewn iridescent organza and fishnet bodysuit with pearl and shell embellishments, considered medium size on body, 2017
A too-vulgar form of compensation 2017
Hand sewn iridescent organza and fishnet bodysuit with pearl and shell embellishments, considered medium sized on body, 2017
A Mere Silhouette Of The Self
Baby's Breath inside wrestling headgear that is suspended by ribbon in front of a moleskin book with transfer text, 2017
Printed on clear film and suspended by hay twin infused with baby's breath, 2017
The Black Saint Is A Sinner Lady
The Exotic Canadian Savage
A Woman that did not want to be below Man but beside, traveled away from the Garden to live a life of independence and freedom.
To knot the coming-of-age transformation in the female experience lends itself to explore the nature of metamorphosis. This investigation is silent. Drifting in between a dreamscape of the Canadian wilds and urbanity, the silence carries the form through an act of fleeting, dissipation and insecure foraging. The sensitive nature of body language cover the secretive and non intrusive nature of presence that no one can see forward. Only behind.
Lilith (the exotic canadian savage)
2016, Digital image collage transfer on Birch wood