Fragments of My Journey
Comprising a variety of works created over the last five years, Fragments of My Journey builds upon the artist’s interrogation of individual and familial identity, touching on wider questions about memory, experience and archive. Artworks give rise to different textures, layers and lens-based mediums including photographic slides, projection and printed textiles.
The artist is both participant and image-maker in a series of self-portraits that center Yala’s identity as a Black woman. Inspired by archival photographs of her own grandfather, she invites questions on how the racialised body has been seen and received from one generation to the next.
Family histories continue to offer a space for reflection in a textile hanging that re-frames the family photograph. It documents the artist’s ongoing personal journey into their family archive through photo albums and conversations with relatives. The fractured nature of these histories are reflected in photographs that have been divided into quarters, an acknowledgment of the fact that these spaces often constitute loss, as well as discovery. A more personal archive is seen in a series of 35mm slides created from photographs taken during Yala’s final year living in Portugal, and her first year residing in the UK. Images of ex-partners, friends and settings on both sides of the Channel demonstrate the community found in moments between people and places. Yala invites visitors to the exhibition to share in these intimacies by inserting slides into the handheld viewer, and looking through.
Sofia Yala (b.1994) is an Angolan / Portuguese photographer based between the UK and Portugal. She studied Anthropology and graduated from the University of Derby in 2021 with a MA in Film & Photography. In 2021 Sofia had her portfolio highlighted in The Eyes Magazine and FOAM Magazine #59 Histories, focused on archives and contemporary ways of reactivating histories. Recently she concluded the East Meets West masterclasses to continue her journey as an emergent photographer. The artist has been developing her practice and other projects at her studio in Derby, alongside getting ready to present artwork at the 13th Bamako encounters African Biennale of Photography at the end of 2022.
Side Entrance at 82 Rose Hill Terrace