Elizabeth Kwant

Artist

Approved: 03.03.2015

Kwant’s work investigates contemporary socio-political issues; migration, immigration, slavery and representation. She has produced and participated in a number of socially engaged arts projects with refugees and asylum seekers in partnership with local organisations. Her practice is primarily research based, involving archive material and a journalistic approach to the documentation of human stories. Working across mediums of screen printing, photography and moving image installation. Recent projects include Tracing Presence (2012-2013) a year long artist residency produced in partnership with The Mustard Tree and The Boaz Trust Manchester, in which the artist responded to female asylum seekers by painting a series of life size portraits commenting upon presence and absence. Mediterranea (2016- 2017) critically engaged with media representations of the ‘European migrant crisis’ through a series of screen prints painted with brightly coloured backgrounds. Tensions and paradoxes surrounding the crisis playfully emerge through the artist’s choice of everyday household paint colours chosen specifically for their idealised titles “Utopia Beckons, Fare Thee Well, No Boundaries, Adrift at Sea, California Dreaming, Sundown, Golden Rays, English Primrose...” More recently, In Transit (2017- 2018) a moving image installation, traces the primary western migration route in the Mediterranean. In partnership with The Boaz Trust Manchester, the artist spent time listening to testimonies by British asylum seekers. These stories were interpreted by the artist into a series of movements performed in site specific locations from Morocco, Spain (and the Straits of Gibraltar) to Manchester. The work traces one of the deadliest transit routes the Mediterranean, giving voice to untold stories and performing these within the public realm. Documented on video with sound, the work is presented as a moving image installation.

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