|dc.description||I was awarded the prestigious Sargant Fellowship at the British School in Rome (2001). My project involved bringing people at the margins of society, mainly Albanian refugees and immigrants, into locations where their destitution would appear incongruous in relation to displays of high art. My aim was to photograph these people, in settings that revealed their innate dignity, whilst challenging gallery visitors’ perceptions of appropriate audiences for high culture. I wanted to open my subjects’ eyes to new experiences, but also to raise society’s awareness of their needs and aspirations. The pictures were made to be presented in a gallery context, life-size.
This body of work has enhanced knowledge and understanding of representations of migrant people through many shows. For example, the work was exhibited alongside celebrated Mediterranean artists such as Yves Klein and Antoni Tapies in ‘Periplo del Mediterraneo’, curated by Marisa Vescovo as part of Genoa’s celebration of its status as European city of culture(May-July 2004). My work was significant in that it exemplified cultural diversity and cross-fertilisation of Mediterranean artists.
My work was exhibited in ‘Responding to Rome’ at the Estorick Collection of Modern Italian art. The curator, Jacopo Benci (Head of Fine Art, British School, Rome) selected my work from many others as representative of the best work produced under the auspices of the British School.(Artists included Mark Wallinger and Richard Billingham) .
In producing this research I located, interviewed and hired my models from among a group of illegal immigrants looking for work. I shot approximately 1000 photographs in locations such as art galleries and churches, and produced 30 fine art images to exhibition standard. The work is so effective that two photographs were chosen by Professor Russell King to go on the cover of his latest book ‘The New Albanian Migration’.||en