Karen Babayan

My research explores diasporan Armenian identity formed through external and inherited cultural influences brought about by a history of displacement through forced migration and genocide. My aims are to investigate the influence of Armenian culture upon its host cultures and the absorption of British and Iranian influence within the Armenian community; to critically represent a history of co-existence and support, referencing both the personal and the collective through art practice. Photographic work explores formal studio photography contrasted with the family snapshot, bringing into question the author and authenicity of the photograph. New works have been created by scanning old photographs, digitally manipulating them and then projecting them in the studio. By making work in this way I am regaining control of the historic image and in doing so, questioning the circumstances and history that have shaped my family in its physical and psychological migration over time and space, 'sealing' the past and the present together. A recent Artist's Book 'Blood Oranges Dipped in Salt' of fictionalised family stories, describes the experiences of migration, displacement and assimilation of the Armenians of Iran to the western diaspora, spanning 400 years and the geography of 3 continents. Performative and film-based works are emerging as a result of live reading events since the publication of the book in February 2012. read full statement

Location Cumbria, North West