Signs of Life: Mairi Millar’s Journey of Migration and Cultural Heritage

Signs of Life: Mairi Millar’s Journey of Migration and Cultural Heritage

“We migrants are no different from a thing with wings. Outstretched and focused, we make the pivotal decision to leave the familiar for the unknown.”

In its second edition, Mairi Millar presents "Signs of Life" at the Sarabande High Road, displaying an evocative range of artworks from parakeet feathers to paintings interlaced with Trinidadian myths and culture.

"Signs of Life" showcases the journey of life through both tangible and intangible elements. Whether it's a feather, an eggshell, or the sound of a familiar squawk, these remnants reflect the search for belonging and the life built along the way. Behind the dazzling pieces is a conversation between art and cultural heritage.

Each meticulously crafted artwork tells a story of adaptation, drawing parallels between the colourful parakeets that now call London home and the Windrush Generation's quest for belonging.

"The idea of making a nest out of parakeet feathers—it’s about making a home for yourself," Mairi explains.

This theme resonates deeply, echoing the experiences of those who, like the Windrush Generation, have navigated the challenges of migration to find solace and community in new lands.

Her paintings, a new addition to her repertoire, depict angels and devils, reflecting her exploration of rebellion and tradition in Trinidadian culture. As a Trinidadian residing in London, Millar draws inspiration from her vibrant homeland and acknowledges the courage it takes to find your flock and establish oneself in an ecosystem that functions differently. 

Millar was a resident at Sarabande in 2021-2022, her work explores the beauty of nature’s discarded elements, “collaborating with chance” to create pieces from found natural objects. Through the medium of jewellery, these overlooked or discarded items are transformed into precious relics.


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