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‘Mon pays, Mi pais’ (my country, my country) by Clara Philippe

‘Mon pays, Mi pais’ (my country, my country)

Clara Philippe

About the work

My work, ‘Mon pays, Mi país’ (my country, my country), features myself and my friend, Malena, both of whom have grown up and experienced the challenges and dissociation that come with being second-generation immigrants. When reflecting on my connection to Brisbane, I was overwhelmed with conflicting feelings about where my home really is; my heart has always been split between two places, two families, and two languages. Through this portrait, I aim to evoke empathy and unity while also communicating a feeling of disconnection and capturing the space between these two homes. This is a sentiment all second-generation immigrants are familiar with.

For Malena, this space occurs between her home in Venezuela and her heart in Australia, while for myself, I am torn in the same way between France and here. I have manipulated the lighting and positioning of the figures to convey a sense of separation in my painting. Despite their physical proximity, both figures look past each other, exemplifying the juxtaposition of their disconnection and the familiarity within this shared experience. Together, they navigate this emotional journey.