Where did you grow up? And where do you live now?

I grew up between Brixton and West London, and I live in Brixton now. I still live in the same flat actually. Brixton always feels like home - even if I spend time away, as soon as I come out of the station I feel like I’m home.

Do you feel like your home - and Brixton more broadly - has had an influence on the type of art that you make?

Definitely. I think the people I see around me filter through to the characters I create in my work. And the interactions I have with other people living in Brixton, the people I engage with on a day-to-day basis, it all layers into my work. 

What role does community play in your life?

You can choose to contribute to your community through small decisions every day. For example, if you choose to buy your food from the local market rather than a supermarket. Or decide to eat at a small local restaurant, rather than a chain, when you go out with friends. I'm trying to help businesses that have been around for years stay where they are. Those are communal moments for me. 

Is home ownership something that’s important to you?

I’d definitely like a sense of long-term security. But, at the same time, lots of people are reconciling themselves with not being homeowners. Part of me thinks that life is short and I’d have to sacrifice a lot to get on the property ladder. I think I’d be miserable if I had to give up the things which bring me comfort and happiness every day.

It’s also important to remember that lots of artists have a studio space to maintain. It’s a place where you do a lot of emotional digging and create a lot of memories, so often the studio can feel like a second home. 

It can also provide a feeling of ownership. Even though you're renting the space, it does feel like your own because you can be messy and expressive there, and you can curate it to suit your needs.

What does home mean to you?

Home comes in different pieces and those pieces inhabit you as memories. We carry them within us and, often, when we get a place of our own we want to recreate those familiar pieces of home or, on the flip side, create something that's fresh and brand new, starting your own journey and memories in a blank space.

A lot of your work seems to be about memory - and how unreliable it can be. Do you have an early memory of home that stands out for you?

My memories always feel made up of different pieces. One of the earliest pieces, which reminds me of home, is of sitting on a carpet playing with a red toy car. That was the first time I was aware of being at home.

Arrested Development by Hamed Maiye

Let’s talk about your piece - Arrested Development. Why did you choose that piece for this shoot?

It's a self portrait of, but it’s a forged self-portrait. There are elements of reality, but from different life scenarios and different memories. The face is mine, but the scenario has been manipulated: it's a memory that is real and isn't real at the same time.

I’m always questioning the reliability of memory and the relationship between memory and imagination. Where does one stop and the other begin? How do they interact? 

I guess this piece is me rewriting memories, and I made it as a way to reconcile with myself.

Who inspires you creatively?

Lynette Yiadom Boakye is a multi-disciplinary artist. She makes these paintings, which are completely imagined scenarios with imagined characters, but they feel so real that you interpret them as memories. That's what's really beautiful about her work - you don't question the reliability of that memory.

Noah Davis manipulates archival photos and the way that he treats them means they transcend into this space of magic realism. It's not quite surrealism, but there's a lot of magic embedded in the imagery of his work.

David Hammons’ work is like sharing a collective train of thought. He uses recognizable symbols to create these images and sculptures, which give his work a communal aspect. 

I think I learned something from all of these artists. They make me think about memory, its general reliability, and its relationship with imagination. How can you manipulate it, how can it be malleable, and how does that translate into colour?

You’ve also been involved with the Flat 70 project, which allowed Black artists to claim public space by taking over a billboard. Tell us more about that.

It's a really interesting model of creating a public exhibition. It makes it super accessible and, instead of being surrounded by advertising, people can experience a piece of art in public.

A lot of people find the galleries intimidating. It can feel like you need to be able to articulate really intellectual thoughts in order to engage with art, which isn't necessarily true. Experiencing art in the public domain allows for a more relaxed approach.

How did you feel about this project and working with a mortgage company initially?

It’s definitely a first for me! But I liked the iterations that the other artists worked on, and I thought: this is a conversation about home ownership - and whether that’s possible - that a lot of us are having anyway.