1. 'Where my mother tongue can kiss the soul she stands upon and begin to grow', 2021. Fabric, glitter, plastic crystals, plastic pearls, acrylic paint, pva glue. 200cm x 110cm.

  2. 'Even further off', 2020. Fabric, glitter, cardboard, acrylic paint, oil paint, clay, pva glue. 250cm x 300cm x 30cm

  3. 'She comes and she goes'. 2019. Fabric, glitter, cardboard, canvas, oil paint, rice, acrylic paint, pva glue, plastic crystals. 210cm x 280cm x 40cm

Hodges draws from the aspects of their cultural history that got left behind in the process of migration. The works are primarily constructed from fabric offcuts given to Hodges by their grandmother who was a dressmaker in Thailand. Each painting uses a fragment of poetic text that describes theirs and their mother’s longing and desire to rebuild connections to lost culture, language and places. Included in many of the works are small cardboard shrines that mimic the Thai spirit houses built to maintain positive connections between the living and the dead. For Hodges, the series is a symbolic space to explore her mixed heritage identity and feeling of cultural rootlessness. By assembling these objects in an Australian gallery, they carves out a space for cultural diversity within an institutional context and asserts that storytelling is one of the oldest forms of building cultural consciousness.

Emma Rani Hodges

Instagram @emma_rani

Emma Rani Hodges’ work explores their mixed Thai, Chinese and Australian heritage through a post-colonial and feminist framework. Working in the language of expanded painting, their work draws on personal narratives and inserts marginalised voices into the dominant cultural discourse of white Australia. Fluctuating between image, text and object, Hodges’s work resists easy categorisation. They combine incongruous material (painting, textiles, and found materials) to assert that their multiethnic identity can exist as a cohesive unified whole and challenges the view that individuals of mixed heritage are “caught between two worlds”.

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