These images are set along the Tigris river of Iraq. The project looks at contemporary Iraq, as well as looking for signs, icons and scenes that reference the region’s ancient past. The Epic of Gilgamesh is an ancient Mesopotamian story that follows Gilgamesh in his triumphs, until the death of his close friend makes him sense his own mortality, which leads him to search for the secret of eternal life. Like Gilgamesh, civilisations have been drawn to the plains of Iraq in search of prosperity. The project is a visual response to the story and my experience contemplating Iraq through the river, and the collective memory and history of this region.
I remember hearing about the invasion of Iraq on the radio, as I was driven to school at the age of twelve. The coverage of the British military and their supposed liberation of this foreign land fell on my bewildered ears. Twelve years later I visited Iraq and saw the Tigris river for the first time. This experience weaved a complex image of a country, one that was unrecognisable to the simplistic impression I got from the radio many years ago.
I like to tell myself that the river has a memory. The river watches over the on-going civilisations, seeing the signs, symbols and patterns of life fade away over time. Re-emerge many lifetimes later, though their former meanings may be forgotten.
Like the erosion and break up of rocks into pebbles in the river bed, memories fade and collect. My choice of subjects are an odd collection of events, non-events, scenes and subjects, found near or on the banks that this water has cut.