Transformations # 1 Transformations # 6 2 diptych photographs 4 panels, 76.2 x 57.15 cm each
Nadia Huggins was born in Trinidad & Tobago, in 1984, and is based in St Vincent and the Grenadines. She is a self-taught visual artist who works primarily in photography. Her recent exhibitions include Relational Undercurrents (2017-2019), a major survey of contemporary art from the Global Caribbean which is presently touring in the USA; the Jamaica Biennial 2017, at the National Gallery of Jamaica; Caribbean Queer Visualities (2016), Outburst Queer Arts Festival, Thread Gallery, Belfast, Northern Ireland; and Vision Archipelagiques (2016), Fondation Clément, Martinique. Her photographs explore identity, memory and belonging through people, self-portraits, and the landscape, and, most of all, the sea. She works as a freelance graphic designer and was the co-founder of ARC Magazine.
Transformations is a series of diptychs that explores the relationship between my identity and the marine ecosystem. In the sea, as a woman who identifies as other, my body becomes displaced from my everyday experiences. Gender, race, and class are dissolved because there are no social and political constructs to restrain and dictate my identity. These constructs have no place or value in that environment. This idea creates the foundation for these portraits.
These transfigured portraits use collage techniques to bring together self-portraiture and the documentation of marine organisms. By juxtaposing these images and leaving a space in between them, each portrait is on the cusp of becoming a single image. This space between the images represents a transient moment where I am regaining buoyancy and separating from the underwater environment to resurface. The transformation exists within the space in between photographs. It is in this moment that the viewer makes the decision if both worlds are able to separate or merge.