Conversations Over Tea

Richard Mark Rawlins

My ‘inward’ state of being dictates recognition of being Trinidadian, black within for the large part an indo-afro society, subjected to vagaries of multiculturalism without any notion of an ‘institutionally racialized boot’ of oppression, a class background which afforded me the privilege of education and mobility, and now a classification as an ‘exceptionally talented migrant’. Since relocating to the UK I have been using my practice as a bridge to my (metaphorically speaking) Afro-Caribbean cousins, with whom, I feel a sense of familiarity and kinship even though we have never met… until now. Via a series of performative, intimate portraits of people of British Afro-Caribbean heritage drinking tea, combined with frank, conversational, recorded actions I examine the similarities and definitions of what AFRO-CARIBBEAN and Britishness mean as cultural constructs, with the goal of finding a common ground that is beyond just a racialised classification.

Artist biography

Richard Mark Rawlins (b.1967), Trinidad & Tobago currently lives and works in Hastings, UK. A graduate of the Royal College of Art’s print programme (2019), Rawlins’ research takes a transnational approach to the "pop-cultural" poetics and politics of life in the Caribbean, the contested and resultant histories/realities of colonialism and it’s transpontine consequence. Rawlins’ work has been featured most recently at Get Up Stand Up Now, Somerset House, London, UK (2019). Rawlins' work has been acquired by the Wedge Curatorial Collection, Toronto; the Soho House Art Collection, and the Art Collection of the Central Bank of Trinidad & Tobago.