Where’re you from?… (Acid Test | Self Portrait | Denial)

Eryn Mark

Potassium Permanganate, citric acid and citrus limon seed on 220gsm paper
on 10 individual sheets 29.7 x 42 cm


“Where’re you from?” implies a previous narrative, one that must be grounded in the foreign and never the familiar and localized, never authentic.
The question also has the power to constantly unsettle.
“You look/are different”.
“You are not like us”.
There is an unspoken pity underlying the assumption that one’s displacement must have involved trauma.
There is no room for explanation.
The assumptions are made, and they stick.
It’s very utterance, excludes in some meaningful way, going further to say “I’m better than you, because I AM from here!”
Searching for some sense of inclusivity we are left to consider:
When do I get to proudly say “I’m from here”?
Can I ever go back, or does resettlement imply only forward momentum?

Where’re you from?…(Acid Test | Self Portrait | Denial) invokes a crude, abstract rendition of the topography of the course of two rivers.
One I grew up beside, one I live beside now.
Half of my life with each.
The pages forming this work are each soaked in a potassium permanganate solution, drying to reveal rich sepia-like tones, only to have their underlying whiteness violently exposed through angry splashes of lemon juice, it’s acid eating through any colour it touches.
This messy, gestural use of “foreign” mediums is an argument acknowledging not only my connection to specific places but, hopefully, the holistic interconnectedness of all things…

Individual works titles:
1. Where’re
2. you
3. from
4. ?
5. …
6. Acid
7. Test
8. Self
9. Portrait
10. Denial


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