1965 Race Relations Act
I have long used textile as a metaphor for the interweaving of narratives, playing on its historical relationship to text, and as a channel for personal or collective identities and histories.
I loved the image of all the Acts on scrolls in the Parliamentary Archives. Connecting these with rolls of fabric, conflating the written and the woven, is the key concept.
I wanted to embed an element of diversity in the image by covering the scrolls in fabrics produced across the world, including the UK. Mixing it up: being mixed myself, I revisited the Britain of my childhood through the adult lens of race relations and it was not an easy experience. However, the Acts stood as a statement of values for a future society. I wanted to contrast this with the complexity of applying these values in an atmosphere of racial tension, discrimination and social change; the formal, neat and ordered versus the tangled, evolving, enriching, human, lived complexity of striving for equality.
Alongside key statements from the legislation, I referenced many people, among them Paul Stephenson, Tony Benn, Doreen Lawrence and the cultural theorist Stuart Hall.