Amaal Said | Home is Elsewhere / From Where I’ve Ended Up

Friday 20 May – Saturday 30 July 2022

Private view: Thursday 26 May, 6-8pm

Departure Lounge is delighted to present Home is Elsewhere/From Where I’ve Ended Up, a solo exhibition from photographer and artist Amaal Said.

The exhibition, a unification of newly commissioned works and previous personal projects, explores the artist’s experience with fractured archives originating from the history of her own family’s migration. As a daughter of immigrant parents, moving from place to place and never being able to call a single place ‘home’, Said’s work highlights the importance of archiving and keeping belongings safe.

Home is Elsewhere (2015) is a personal project consisting of photographs taken on a trip to Kenya, during which she attempted to trace the origins of the family photo album she grew up with. Searching for the familiar in family portraits of her mother in her old bed, of her uncle’s wife and newborn baby, of her mum and aunts together, Said was instead left with something quite unfamiliar when most of the images were lost – a collection of images about home, which didn’t feel like home.

From Where I’ve Ended Up (2022), is a new commission which documents individuals in the places they find themselves now. Through photographs, Said documents the project’s participants lived experience in Luton, creating a link with the stories and locations in their past and their aspirations and dreams about where they might be in the future. The artist’s aim was to connect with communities in Luton, bringing them into a shared space. Through spending time and having conversations with each participant about what it means for them to be living or working in Luton, a collection of images emerges in which individuals inhabit the spaces of the town and make it their own.

Looking at family portraiture both locally and internationally, Said’s exhibition considers the space between where we started and where we are now. Weaving her two projects together conceptually, Said explores the experience of searching for and discovering home, taking into consideration what it means when home is both here and elsewhere. Documenting both herself and participants across Luton, the artist highlights the importance of rooting oneself in the present and of archiving the impressions this offers up, weaving a connection with both the past and the future.

With special thanks to Angel Miller, Imrana Mahmood, Inayah Inam, Sophie Gresswell and Tryphine Kachipande.

Amaal Said (b.1995) is a Danish-born Somali photographer and poet based in London. Her photographs have been featured in Vogue, The Guardian, and The New Yorker. She is fascinated by storytelling and how best she can connect with people to document their stories. She won the Wasafiri Magazine’s New Writing Prize for poetry in 2015. In 2017, she was exhibited in Los Angeles, California. In 2018, her photography was featured in the fourth volume of African Lens and was exhibited in Accra, Ghana. She is a member of Octavia, poetry collective for womxn of colour, and a former Barbican Young Poet.

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Departure Lounge Contemporary Art
Community Interest Company
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