8 Annas Black

A favourite photograph, captured in 1953, shows eight friends of my mother and it’s a continual source of inspiration. Working with this image has belatedly given me some time at the kitchen table with my aunties, who have been missed. The accidental mis-registration of  this monoprint in early studies of the image echoes an experience of being unseen or perceived in a partial or distorted way (below).Originally titled Aunties, the series was renamed when I found out 8 annas was a synonym for “half-caste”, providing an opportunity to subvert such uses as:
Anna: the 16th part of a rupee [ ] The term is also applied colloquially to persons of mixt parentage: ‘such a one has at least 2 Annas of dark blood.’ This may be compared with the Scotch expression that a person of deficient intellect ‘wants two pence in the shilling’. *
My wish is to unsettle established language through context, juxtaposition and re-appropriation.
*Hobson-Jobson, 1886, p.31