This multimedia interview project uses audio, photographs and text to explore the visual memories and early impressions of place and people on an artist’s practice. FIND explores the rich transnational culture of the UAE; I find this best illustrated through the voices of many artists—their experiences and diverse backgrounds. As myself a product of a mixed race marriage, I found the process enlightening; as the stories unfolded, I saw how many of us crossed similar paths and experiences.
Through this process, I was able to learn so much about these artists. I also felt the great importance of sharing; as the artists shared their stories with me, I also shared mine. At the end of our times together, I think we all left with an emotional connection. As we recalled our memories and asked ourselves how these objects or places effected us, we were all part of a journey of self-discovery.
Creating these first stories was a process of trial and error; this included technical challenges, but mostly I think the ability to make my subject comfortable to share and let go of the usual PR approach. I wanted the artists to just open up to another artist and for us to discuss mutual points of departure. My life is filled with these kinds of conversations, both in person and through Skype to my friends who are artists in other countries; we share many of the same grievances around our practice and what success looks like to us.
What I hope to produce from this project is a mini-series of interviews that shed light into a part of the artist that sometimes is missed in press releases or newspaper interviews. Those usual questions include did you always know you were going to be an artist and what is your inspiration? Those are valid questions, but they are not the ones we are asking here.