The Portraits of An Imagined Past explores individual ancestry, identity and memory through the making and performing of a series of “living portraits.” Participants/artists investigated their personal histories, identified a person of interest from their past, and then researched this person to embody them in the present. They used imagination, interpretation and memory as tools to reconstruct the lives and stories of their family members, and in this process reveal their own perspective of who they are, set against the backdrops of their histories.
Concept and Project Leader: Sean Frey
Lead Artists: Sonja Rainey (design and lead), Beth Helmers (performance and lead), Sharada Eswar (story telling and performance). Arber Makri (painting and building).
Assisting Artists: Thomas Truman John, Andrea Thring, Bill Livingston, Molly McGregor, Dave McNiven
Afroza Parvin as Anwara Begum, her mother, 1968.
Ahlam Abo Elmagd as her father, Abo Elmagd, 1990.
Dave McNiven as Archibald Donald Mathews, his great grandfather, 1906/1950.
Karis Jones-Pard as Joan Phillip, her grandmother, 1969.
Komathy Sarah as Subramaniam Arumugam, her grandfather, 1942.
Parameswary as Sinnappusubramainiam, her father 1951.
Pathma M. as Radnam Thiagarajah, 1954.
Pat Martingale as James Moorhead, her great grandfather, 1870.
S. Sulogini as Sothynathan, her husband, 1966.
Yasmeen Safawi as her mother, Adawia Aziz.