Katherine Anteney

A Great Wave

Reduction and Multiple Block Linocut

This prints features a line from Warsan Shire’s poem ‘Home’.  The whole poem is fantastic but I think this one line puts to bed any notion that migrant people make decisions lightly when they leave their homeland.

The word ‘wave’ has often been used in negative reporting about migrants arriving in the UK. Therefore Hokusai’s ‘The Great Wave of Kanagawa’ was a perfect device to portray the peril and danger of being at sea. The sea’s power is shown in comparison to the vulnerability of people packed into small boats.

Made in 2020, the year that saw the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower, it is perhaps time to examine our attitudes to migration. Who is ‘discovering a new world’ and who is a blight on an existing way of life?

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