Interested in memories, nostalgia, narratives and truth, Sarah Byrne’s work forms a reflection of experiences growing up in England as a British girl with an Asian mother. Using and re-using imagery from her mother’s old photo albums showing Sarah’s childhood trips to the Philippines, her practice forms a process of recalling, realising, and questioning the events, exchanges and associations which have contributed to what she describes as a separation in her two national identities.
The work questions what she remembers, versus what she thinks she does, and examines the extent to which memories may glitch, malfunction or overwrite. The imagery explores the extent to which visibility, fade, and blur relate to ethnographical trends of ‘Whiteness’, particularly the proclivity of Western idealisation within South-East Asia. Sarah relates this to her own muddled young memories of feeling tokenised by both sides.
Sarah is a graduate from University of Wolverhampton and has recently been awarded a residency at The New Art Gallery Walsall from February – April 2020.
Sarah’s work is exhibited at The Row as part of New Art West Midlands x Coventry Biennial. The exhibition continues across arts venues and heritage sites in Coventry until 24 November 2019.