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. 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