The psychological pressures of migration, whether initiated by war or social, religious and economic instability, can so often go unnoticed. Jocelyn Cole’s work explores, through her own personal experience, the effects of her migration from Africa to the United Kingdom. Whilst nostalgia and homesickness play a large part in her work, her initial points of reference have been underwritten by the effects of British colonial rule on the African resulting in race discrimination, segregation, war, differing spiritual beliefs and thereafter, the negative effects of post-colonial rule on all races.
The work engages with dried, unfired, cracked clay as a metaphor for greed, corruption and economic mismanagement and hessian and egg tempera as symbols of Cole’s farming roots. Separation of the races is emphasised through the use of curtains; one lifestyle inside the home while the ‘other’ remains outside. This distinction is again followed through in the use of an open casket which symbolises the end of this period in Cole’s life.
Cole’s chosen materials for her allegorical work are clay, papier-mâché, various fabrics with symbolic meaning, egg tempera and familial artefacts and gold gilt.