The Outskirts, 2011
Acrylic and mixed media on canvas
40 x 50cm
The Outskirts is the first in a series of work by Elizabeth Kwant created during her time as Artist in Residence at Nexus. Exploring aspects of Manchester’s diverse communities through paint, mixed media and photography her work is informed by themes of identity, place, belonging and refuge. Through trips to Longsight Market and personal contact with immigrants she navigates the layers of culture and history surrounding those who come to the UK to live, work or find asylum. Kwant seeks to portray the communities she finds herself living within through compassionate eyes. Rich colours and traditional English patterns are juxtaposed next to everyday household objects creating a sense of dislocation from home whilst firmly grounding them within English heritage. Her subjects find themselves inserted into the cold urban space of Manchester through the medium of collage and transfer this sense of unease to the viewer, who recognise the images but cannot place the scene.