We are three mixed-race women artists using portraiture in both painting and photography to address ideas of mixed-race identity. The subjects in our work are people who have parents, grandparents, and ancestors from different cultural backgrounds. The faces of our “models” do not conform to society’s outdated notions of human classification. These faces are loaded with issues of colonialism, racism, shadeism, as well as questions of history and identity.
In Canada, although we have a policy of multiculturalism, people are generally not comfortable talking about race. Our work aims to highlight the experiences of mixed people. These are the people whose “race” is not clear and who are often faced with questions such as, “What are you?” or “What is your ethnic background?” These persistent questions clearly reflect our society’s discomfort with an inability to classify people by racialized norms.