New photo exhibition explores public and private identity

The idea of belonging is a theme seen in Kurland’s own work, namely her iconic series Girl Pictures, which reflected on the unspoken bond between young women.
I Belong to This is on display at Huxley-Parlour Gallery, London until October 16; huxleyparlour.com

Top: A Slight Grip, A Gentle Hold, 2020 by Calafia Sanchez-Touzé. Above: My Son’s Leg was in Plaster by Annie Hsiao Ching Wang. All images courtesy the artists and Huxley-Parlour Gallery

One of the most compelling bodies of work in the exhibition comes from Annie Tsiao Ching Wang, who annually photographs herself and her son in front of portraits taken the previous year, forming a mise-en-abyme that shows the passing of time over the course of 20 years.
“Photography, here, works in resistance to harmful power dynamics by creating new rhizomatic pathways to knowledge in a pact between camera operator, subject, and viewer. These acts allow us to recognise ourselves through and among others.”

Untitled (Surrogate Skin), 2016 by Keisha Scarville
I Held My Mother by Cheryl Mukherji

I Belong to This is a new exhibition at London’s Huxley-Parlour Gallery featuring the work of 17 artists, whose practice examines the relationship between who were are in private versus who we are in public, and the various threads that bond people together.
Family is central to much of the exhibition. Naima Green evokes the idea of chosen family in portraits of her queer community, while Keisha Scarville and Cheryl Mukherji both create a dialogue with their mothers through the use of fabrics and embroidery. The former wraps herself in her late mother’s clothes, while the latter stitches her mother’s words over the top of an image of her, in one of many archival photographs seen throughout the exhibition.

Blue Poppies, 2021 by Jacky Marshall
Peggy, Hibachan and Miki, 2020 by Sydney King
Ecstatic Justice, from the series Thrall by Qiana Mestrich, 2020. Image courtesy SepiaEYE and Huxley-Parlour Gallery

These artists “consistently refuse an emblematic or fixed identity. Instead, they have squeezed, smeared, and repurposed their DNA into a family album without limit, resurrected ancestors, and activated psychic space in order to give shape to their experience,” Kurland says.