maisie hammond

A 21 year old English Literature graduate and book lover.

Studying by the sea in my favourite place, Brighton, allowed me to explore a plethora of words, experiences and narratives.

 

I am enthralled by the multidimensional nature of life around us and am inspired to uncover some of these layers, unveiling a prism of meanings, hidden words, experiences and dialects.

When certain themes, narratives or experiences resonate with me, I like to explore them in my own way through experimenting with other media and formats. This can include poetry and photography, which allows me to visualise and materialise these ideas.

As experiences and reality is multidimensional, I enjoy researching and writing about particular topics and themes in a critical and contextual way, to uncover hidden voices, other perspectives and submerged histories.

 

‘Beyond the marrow to the root – but the question is how far back do you want? How far will do? […] Back, back, back’ [83 Smith].

White Teeth - Zadie Smith

A shattered mirror, shards of relationships, histories and identities.

The theme which screams with all prominence is that of roots. Beauty in roots, heritage, history, religion, identity, language, and so on. The dialogue of anchorage and, conversely, displacement, demands and, quite rightly, deserves attention. Smith interweaves a complexity of characters, histories and cultures which raise questions for the reader, including that of can roots be constructed or planted, and are these roots as secure as they look? Can they provide a solid foundation?

The themes explored within the novel reverberate in the style itself. Smith’s employment of a disjointed and fragmented chronology, a narrative voice that is not entirely within, yet not utterly removed, mimics that of a shattered mirror; we are left with shards of a bigger picture which, when pieced together by the reader, encourages a reflection on our own relationships, identities and histories. There is a sense of transcendence and timelessness the permeates the novel, for example, embodied in Archibald’s first wife who believes she lives in a different time period, and the novel’s opening being set at New Year’s – undoubtedly a period of transition, revelations and new beginnings. Thus, teleology is pertinent to the novel; this undoubtedly deserves greater attention, but it is worth bearing in mind, particularly when thinking about Smith’s decision to open the novel with Archie’s ‘decided-upon suicide’.

White Teeth inspired - Using different mediums to explore a physicality which bleeds into the ethereal, transcendent.

The
trickling of
the watercolour paints were ideal for exploring /
visualising the concept of
bleeding out; histories bleeding
into the present, experiences and voices bleeding out, the theme of rootlessness and mobility.

Collages apt for expressing multitudes of voices / testimonies and cultural / historical amnesia. The idea of fragmentation, shards of identities, relationships and experiences.

Also in materialising the concept of time - which part of the collage is the original? What has been added / changed over time? Does it have a 'beginning', if so, where? Can we, should we, pin point the origins of the piece or do we accept it as a whole, a complete?