Yodet Gherez

'I use different mediums in my work. Painting, instillations, and video has been my main craft. Identity and ideology are key themes that run through my work. And practical and theoretical enquiry that arises from questioning heritage, national background and global politics. 

My practice has always been influenced by my difficulty in finding and positively inhabiting a sense of place in the world.

Being a black East African, working class woman has problematised my understanding of society, as I have had to struggle against many inequalities whilst also questioning aspects of my own heritage. For example, whilst growing up I have questioned my religious culture and traditional customs, leading me to question issues such as authority, orthodoxy and dogma which has informed my art practice.

Since gaining a BA in Fine Art I have continued to work creatively, regularly attending exhibitions and experimenting artistically. I have been very politically active in organising cultural events, street subvertising and hosting a radio show on Resonance FM. A key issue for me has been becoming a mother and I am keen to explore the unique insight that I have gained from that experience relative to existing political sex discrimination. The experience of motherhood has added layers of maturity to developing my perspective as an individual and I want to channel this into my practice.

I have always used art as a tool for communication, it is a means for self reflection and a form of learning, through which to interpret and process my subjective experiences relative to the world around me. I have a desire to form challenging and engaging critical discourse with the observer. The artists who currently are having the most influence on me are the Feminists Sarah Maple, Frida Kahlo, The Guerrilla Girls, Mierle Laderman Ukeles and Carrie Mae Weems. Also Surrealists Rene Magritte and Marcel Duchamp as well as contemporary video Artist Omer Fast continue to inspire me. I love art that questions reality, rocks the status quo and shatters the illusion of banality.'