Five2Watch: Representation and Identity

For #Five2Watch this week we've selected five artists who have explored the relationship between representation and identity within their work: Colin Anthony Graham, John Paul Evans, Davinia-Ann Robinson, Laura O'Connor and Barbara Walker.

Union Blacks: Windrush flag, 2020

Colin Anthony Graham

This flag documents a prominent moment in British history. On 22nd June 1948, the Empire Windrush docked at Tilbury in Essex. On board were hundreds of pioneers, including the late Sam King MBE, travelling from the Caribbean to start a new life in Britain. Some of their names make up this flag. These names are taken from public record documents and Sam King’s book, ‘Climbing up the Rough Side of the Mountain’.

Colin Anthony Graham

How the Other Half Lives (part of the series Home Sweet Home), 2015

John Paul Evans

Performative photographs exploring the concept of 'degrees of separation' between John Howard Payne, his song 'home Sweet Home', the singer Adelina Patti, the president Abraham Lincoln, and the aesthete Oscar Wilde. 

John Paul Evans


Bod(y)ies That Weather, 2020

Davinia-Ann Robinson

Bod(y)ies That Weather presents an environment where I embody my own ecology as a means of presencing in colonial environments. The work contains gathered earth from spaces where I have experienced colonial socio-political violence/s which I used to create pigments for use in casts of my thumbs. The thumbs were then combined with plants which I have been propagating in my home, by creating holes in the cast thumbs and threading the roots of the plants through the casts. Placing these signifiers of my body in water surrounded by soil, the work examines ways which my Female Body of Colour weathers politically, socially, culturally and materially in everyday colonial environments. The work was exhibited in an outdoor location for a number of months, interacting with the natural environment, creating its own ecological environment with algae naturally occurring, growing around the cast of my thumbs and the propagated plants.



Tethered, 2016

Laura O'Connor

Performance still from solo exhibition 'On the Internet Everybody knows you're a Girl' at QSS Gallery, Belfast. 3 hour performance and YouTube live stream. (still by Jordan Hutchings)

Laura O Connor


Sol, 2007

Barbara Walker

'Louder Than Words', was presented at Unit 2 Gallery, London Metropolitan University. 18 November- 16 December 2006.

Louder than Words brings together compelling paintings and drawings which consider how we form opinions about people based solely on their appearance. Some of these works specifically explore the motives behind, and the impact of police ‘stop and search’, highlighting and questioning the consequences and repercussions for individuals, including her son, who are often judged by the way they look.

A number of pieces in the series are enlarged digital scans of police dockets issued to her son following’ stop and search’ occurrences. Over each scan, drawing or painting depicting areas in around Birmingham. These seemingly spaces in the city are in fact places where her son has been subjected to police scrutiny. The work gives voice to personal experience and frustration while interrogating, on a broader level, the deeper societal implications these decisions and judgements might induce or represent.



Published 20 November 2020