'The Mirrors Within'

In July 2019 on a trip to New York, I came across the work of Anna Puschel, In her book Layers of Reality, she explores her experiences with Synesthesia. Connecting colours, emotions, and memories, she demonstrates a unique perspective of her environment. Navigating space is inherently more emotional, due to her experience. When looking at a photograph from a specific time in her life, she may feel the colour tone ‘Orange’ and feel the sensation of ‘Indifference’. Similarly, with the colour ‘Rose’ conjures a feeling of ‘Happiness, with an absence of worries’. This unusual way of perceiving images, colour and memory have a distinct effect on the way she processes her surroundings. Her world becomes an influx of various rhythmic arrangements which she call’s upon.

After completing her study she expanded my knowledge to how the tonality of a colour holds a connection to memory and is inherently an emotional factor of life. I revisited reportage work I’ve shot over the past few years and began to recognise that those particular moments had intertwined themselves as emotive inspirations for my present work. The electric energy and vibrant colours of Coney Island on a Friday night, the feeling of joy and excitement from an unexpected encounter at a night club, the loss of a loved one that blankets a family in the dull and weary palate of grief. The warm summer hues felt when spent with close friends in the British countryside that in turn reflects joy.

All of these conduct a frequency that I have carried for some time, but the internal reflection needed to be at peace with this is what enables me to channel this energy into my creativity and stops it from becoming baggage, that can hinder relationships in the future.

Tina M. Campt talks about how images emit a similar frequency to sound in her book Listening to Images: ‘Sound needs to be heard to be perceived. Sound can be listened to and in equally powerful ways, sound can be felt; it touches and moves people. In this way, sound must, therefore, be theorised and understood as a profoundly haptic form of sensory contact’. I believe this to be the same with imagery. We feel emotions that are unique to our own experience when we see something that moves us.

I’ve come to understand reflection is a process that allows for personal expansion and greater awareness, something that has taken me some time to accept. Looking back at this rhythmic arrangement, ‘The Mirrors Within’ which I’ve been developing and conceptualising over the past 10 months. I’m able to connect the moments, feelings and thoughts that have inherently given me a clearer understanding of how to better understand my practice and the ever-changing world around me.

I have always sort to create imagery that can be felt and depict my own emotive interaction allowing for an open interpretation by a viewer. Reflecting the process and outcome of painting, acting as a portal to a moment in time via the medium of substance, tone layering, and texture. The moment of emotional synergy can transport us: it sparks a familiar sympathetic notion to a emotive recollection which makes us greater connected within a world that seemingly encourages separation and displacement.

'The Mirrors Within' Full story only available in i-D winter issue No.358 - 2019.

Story includes an interview with longtime friend Angelo Baque


Photography and Paintings: Bolade Banjo

Hair: Nicole Kahlani

Makeup: Danielle Kahlani

Styling: Desiree Laidler

Photography assistants: Florence Omotoyo,

Danielle Crawford-Lugay, Ben Allan, Okus Milsom

Hair assistant: Paige Hammond

Make up Assitant: Melinda Grant

Models Devontay + Dijon @ Anti Agency

Casting: Good Catch (Sarah Smalls)

Special thank you to Hammer Lab.