Xilesia Dwyer Henry
My work takes a variety of forms depending on the subject matter and context. ‘Mental Health, Series 1-3’ (2014-17), is an image-based practice that redacts, dissects, burns out points of identification from personal photographs and diary entries, which are repositories of memory. I use my art as a form of communication; about social exclusion and how we can see it working in material culture. I consider each piece I create a form of an advertisement, which creates an opportunity to draw attention to social issues -where individuals are stigmatised or where education/awareness is needed.
My opinion is that we are reliant upon the media to give us coverage on issues that affect us and the people that we live amongst, while all the time class division increases and tabloid and broadsheets create biased stances on how issues affect us and limit what we feel we can do to fix the problem.
I never promise to be a cure to any issue that I address but I agree with psychologist Erik Erikson, who tells us that as we form ‘in groups’ with people who we as similar, and see larger contrasts between us and those that don’t fit the criteria.
My work is used as a reminder that instinctively we do this subconsciously as a form of socialisation in the materials of our daily life and culture and that we are more similar than we appear. If I can create work that draws attention to this, we might better understand how similar we are as people.