painting by charlotte ryall

a note from the artist, charlotte--

From a young age I have struggled with a sense of belonging. I am a citizen of both Australia and England and have strong ties in both countries. As a result, I often feel as if I am in transit, not quite belonging to either location or culture. I have explored this in my painting by combining photos of myself in each country at different ages in my life. The painting depicts my current self and my younger self surrounded by a lush landscape of greenery encompassing the two of us. When I was little I defined myself as English but now I define myself as Australian. I feel confused as to how something so significant to my identity can shift over time and placement. In the centre of the canvas my two identities interact posed on a bridge, representing this feeling of transit, the water a literal divide between countries. Even though I am unsure about my place in the world, the landscape of both counties surrounds and accepts me within the frame. I wanted to maintain the connection and identity that I foster with being British, I have conveyed this by positioning my older self, talking to my younger self, perhaps sharing a secret, remembering a moment in time together or offering support for the journey ahead.

On reflection of this piece, I believe that it is how I connect with my surroundings and the people in my life that give me and identity and that where I come from does not change me.