My love of tonal drawing and portraiture underlies this body of work which draws from my research into old nineteenth-century Orientalist photographs and paintings. I have used charcoal, pencil, tone and scale to look at the world through the eyes of European women who travelled to the Middle East in the mid to late nineteenth century.
Some of the drawings reference the fascination the West had for the hidden interiors of harems, while others are based on Orientalist portraiture. Some drawings depict the children who were often adopted into travellers’ households when they stayed and took up residence in the East. My hope with these works is that they bring a largely forgotten time and place into the present and provoke a sense of the West’s former romanticised imagining of the East.